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Elements of Forestry 



Professor of Forest Engineering 
New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse 



Professor of Forest Utilization 
New York State College of Forestry at Syracuse 





London: CHAPMAN & HALL, Limited 

Montreal: RENOUF PUB. CO. 


Copyright, 19 14 





Stanbopc ipress 










The development of the American forest policy within the 
last two decades has been no less than remarkable. When 
it is realized that the first forest reserves were set aside barely 
twenty years ago and that the present gross area of the Na- 
tional Forests is 186,000,000 acres, some conception of the 
material strides may be obtained. 

The most striking change, however, has taken place in the 
improvement in public sentiment. Twenty years ago, scarcely 
one man in a hundred knew what forestry meant, while it 
now constitutes an important part of the nation's news. 

The associations and organizations in the United States 
now concerned with forestry comprise the following: 

31 states with forestry departments; 

17 states having conservation or kindred commissions; 

2 national conservation organizations; 

1 national forestry association; 

23 state and local forestry organizations; 

42 associations for the protection of timber land, etc. 

In addition, there are 23 institutions giving degrees in 
forestry, 11 schools with forestry courses of at least one year's 
duration, and 42 schools giving short courses in forestry. 

Realizing the educational awakening that is taking place 
along forestry lines, it was felt that an up-to-date textbook 
was needed, broad in its scope and containing general infor- 
mation on all phases of the subject. 

In the state agricultural schools and colleges, forestry 


should be taught to every student of agriculture. The land 
problem will soon be pressing and, in some regions, the ulti- 
mate forest area is very large in comparison with the arable 
soil. With the rapid increase in the tilled areas, the farm 
woodlots will become of greater importance, and scientific 
handling should then be assured. 

Appreciating the fact that forestry will be complementary 
to agriculture, an especial effort has been made to suit these 
conditions. The bibliography will be of particular advan- 
tage to teachers without a forestry degree, and with its help 
any one with a scientific education should be able to give 
an effective synoptical course. 

The forest regions are covered in a suggestive fashion only, 
and no doubt many details can be supplied by the individual 
instructors from the references given. No chapter has been in- 
cluded on dendrology, as it is too large a subject to be touched 
upon in a general textbook. There is plenty of material 
dealing with the identification and silvical qualities of the 
forest trees, published privately or by the U. S. Forest 
Service, available in practically any college library. 

It has been the chief object of the authors to gather data 
from sources not readily available and to present them in a 
form easily grasped by the average student. Much of the 
material and data have been compiled from other sources, 
Federal and State bulletins, etc., but the presentation is 
entirely original. 

Most of the illustrations were obtained from the Forest 
Service; to its members and to the friends who have aided 
with criticisms and suggestions, the Authors extend grateful 


Frederick Franklin Moon. 
Nelson Courtlandt Brown. 

Syracuse, New York, 
August, 19 14. 




CHAPTER I. — Introduction r 

Forestry Defined and Explained x 

fmition r 

Forestry Means Use x 

Forestry versus Lumbering 2 

Forestry versus Arboriculture 4 

Need of Forestry in the United States 5 

Development of Forestry 


Growth in Germany as Typifying Movement 6 

State Regulation 

Forestry Abroad 9 

Germany 9 

France 9 

Switzerland * r 

Forestry in the United States I2 

Early History I2 

Extension of Forest Reserve Policy T 3 

Present Situation J 4 

Comparison with Conditions Abroad J 5 

State Work l6 

CHAPTER II. — The Tree. 


Definition l8 

Parts and Functions l8 

Roots l8 

Stem 2I 

Leaves 22 

Tree Characteristics 2 3 

Occurrence 2 4 

Local Extension 2 5 

Form 26 




Soil and Moisture Requirements 26 

Growth 28 

Tolerance 31 

Duration of Life 33 

Quality of Wood 34 

Reproduction 35 

Resistance 39 

The Tree as a Unit 40 

CHAPTER III. — Silvics 41 

The Forest as a Community 41 

Characteristics of a Forest 41 

Division of a Forest 42 

Influence of Forest on Locality 42 

Climate 42 

Precipitation and Run-off 43 

Run-off and Erosion 44 

Soil 46 

Influence of Locality on Forests 47 

Air 47 

Light 48 

Heat 48 

Moisture 49 

Soil 50 

Exposure 54 

Formation of Forest Types 54 

Pure versus Mixed Forests 55 

Life History of a Forest 56 

Forest Description 58 

CHAPTER IV. — Silvicultural Systems of Management 61 

Methods of Natural Reproduction 62 

By Seeds 62 

By Coppice or Sprouts 64 

By Root Suckers 65 

Natural versus Artificial Reproduction 66 

Advantages of Natural Reproduction 66 

Advantages of Artificial Reproduction 67 

The Cost of and Returns from Silvicultural Practice 67 

Silvicultural Systems of Natural Reproduction 70 

Selection System 7 1 

Clear Cutting Systems 73 



Shelterwood or Stand Method 76 

Coppice or Sprout System 79 

Combination of Silvicultural Systems : 81 

Factors Governing the Choice of Species for Management 82 

CHAPTER V. — Improvement Cuttings 84 

Reasons for Improvement Work 84 

Kinds of Improvement Work 84 

Cleanings 85 

Liberation Cuttings 86 

Thinnings 87 

Damage Cuttings 92 

Pruning 93 

Economic Considerations 95 

CHAPTER VI. — Artificial Regeneration 97 

General 07 

Status of Forest Planting 99 

Abroad 00 

In the United States IOO 

Seed Collection and Storage IO i 

Cost of Collection IOI 

Storage of Seed IO , 

Seed Extraction io ^ 

Direct Seeding IO <- 

Results and Costs io 8 

Nursery Practice IO o 

Seed and Transplant Beds IO o 

Field Planting x I4 

Choice of Stock 1I( - 

A g e - ; 116 

Technique of Planting z x 7 

Shelterbelts 1I7 

Planting Under Cover z jo 

Spacing and Costs 120 

Yields I2I 

Willow Culture I24 

CHAPTER VII. — Forest Protection I2 6 

Forest Fires I2 (> 

Kinds of Fires I2 $ 

Causes j, r 



Effects I35 

Methods of Prevention x 39 

Methods of Control Hi 

Eorcst Insects I41 

T , 144 

Fungi ^ 

„ 14S 

Crazing ^° 

Sand Dunes I4 ^ 

Miscellaneous I45 

CHAPTER VIII. — Forest Mensuration 148 

General I48 

Units of Measurement and Equivalents H9 

Log Rules I51 

Methods of Construction I S I 

Relative Values and Discussion J 53 

Log Scaling 1 ^ 

Volume Tables J 5 6 

Kinds J 5 6 

Construction T 57 

Use I58 

Cruising *& 

Determination of Contents of Trees 10 2 

Growth Studies l6 3 

Yields l66 

Use of Yield Tables l6 7 

Working Plans l6 7 

CHAPTER IX. — Lumbering l6 9 

History l6 9 

Present Stand and Annual Cut I 7 I 

Rise in Stumpage Value *73 

Methods of Logging J 7 4 

General I74 

Felling and Bucking J 7 6 

Skidding I77 

Log Transport from the Woods to the Mill 177 

Methods of Manufacture *79 

General *™ 

Log Storage l8 ° 



Planing Mill l82 



Typical Operation 183 

Portable Sawmills 186 

Forestry and Lumbering 187 

Future of the Industry 189 

CHAPTER X. — Wood Utilization 191 

General 191 

Wood Production 193 

Wood Consumption 194 

Use of the Lumber Cut 194 

American versus European Conditions 195 

Wood Substitutes 196 

Minor Forest Industries 197 

W 7 ood Pulp 197 

Wood Tannins 199 

Naval Stores 200 

Cooperage 203 

Wood Distillation 204 

Veneers 206 

Excelsior 208 

Maple Syrup and Sugar 209 

Miscellaneous 210 

Methods of Securing Closer Utilization 210 

In the Woods 210 

At the Mill 211 

CHAPTER XI. — Wood Technology 213 

General 213 

Wood Structure 214 

Bark 215 

Sapwood and Heartwood 216 

Annual Rings and Grain 217 

Hardwood versus Coniferous Wood 217 

Seasoning 219 

General 219 

Weight of Wood 220 

Shrinkage 222 

Mechanical Properties 223 

Strength 2 23 

Hardness 224 

Cleavability 225 

Miscellaneous 226 



Chemical Properties 226 

General 226 

Durability 227 

CHAPTER XII. — Wood Preservation 231 

History and Importance 231 

Principal Methods 233 

Pressure or Cylinder Process 233 

Open Tank Process 236 

Brush Treatment 240 

Results of Preservative Treatment 241 

CHAPTER XIII. — Forest Economics 242 

Economic Value of Forests 242 

Forest versus Agricultural Soils 243 

Future Use of Land 244 

Ownership of Forest Land 245 

Forest Resources of the United States 247 

Rate of Consumption 248 

Methods of Providing Future Supply 249 

State versus Federal Control 249 

State Forest Work 253 

Private Practice of Forestry 254 

Communal Forestry 255 

^Esthetic Forestry 256 

CHAPTER XIV. — Forest Finance 258 

Definition and Discussion 258 

General Considerations 258 

Capital and Interest 258 

Forests as Investments 260 

Methods of Determining Forest Values 262 

Assessment of Damages 266 

Presentation of Damages 270 

Forest Taxation 271 




CHAPTER XV. — Regional Studies 274 

Forest Regions 274 

CHAPTER XVI. — Northern Forest 281 

Location and Boundary 281 

Forest Characteristics 283 

Silvicultural Treatment 285 

Protection 287 

Utilization 290 

Special Problems 292 

Future of Forestry in Region 293 

CHAPTER XVII. — Southern Pines 295 

Location and Boundary 295 

Forest Characteristics 296 

Silvicultural Treatment 299 

Protection 301 

Utilization 301 

Special Problems 302 

Future of Forestry in Region 303 

CHAPTER XVIII. — Central Hardwoods 304 

Location and Boundary 304 

Forest Characteristics 305 

Silvicultural Treatment 308 

Protection 309 

Utilization 311 

Special Problems 312 

Future of Forestry in Region 313 

CHAPTER XIX. — Prairie or Fringe Forest 315 

Location and Boundary 315 

Forest Characteristics 316 

Silvicultural Treatment 318 

Protection 320 

Utilization 321 

Special Problems 321 

Future of Forestry in Region 322 



CHAPTER XX. — Northern Rocky Mountain Forest 323 

Location and Boundary 323 

Forest Characteristics 324 

Silvicultural Treatment 327 

Protection 328 

Utilization 329 

Special Problems 329 

Future of Forestry in Region 330 

CHAPTER XXL — Southern Rocky Mountain Forest 332 

Location and Boundary 332 

Forest Characteristics 7,7,^ 

Silvicultural Treatment 335 

Protection 336 

Utilization 337 

Special Problems 337 

Future of Forestry in Region 337 

CHAPTER XXII. — Pacific Coast Forest 339 

Location and Boundary 339 

Forest Characteristics 340 

Silvicultural Treatment 344 

Protection 347 

Utilization 348 

Special Problems 349 

Future of Forestry in Region 349 


Original and Present Forest Areas 351 

Uses of the Principal American Species 352 

Table I. — Scribner Log Rule 356 

Table II. — Doyle Log Rule 357 

Table III. — Champlain Log Rule 358 

Sample Tally Sheet Used in Estimating 359 

Sample Tally Sheet Used in Stem Analysis 360 

Table IV. —White Pine Volume Table 361 

Table V. —White Pine Yield Table 361 

Table VI. — White Pine Money Yield 362 

Status of State, Municipal and Private Forestry Insert 

Table VII. — Rate of Growth for Northern Forests 363 



Table VIII. — Rate of Growth for Central Hardwood Forests 364 

Table IX. — Rate of Growth for Southern Forests 365 

Table X. — Rate of Growth for Rocky Mountain Forests 366 

Table XI. — Rate of Growth for Pacific Coast Forests 367 


INDEX 389 





Forestry Defined and Explained. 

Definition. — Forestry may be defined as the art of raising 
repeated crops of timber on soils unsuited to agriculture. 
Under certain circumstances, however, agricultural land may 
be used to grow trees to good advantage, as in raising catalpa 
in the Middle West. 

It will be seen from this definition that forestry and agri- 
culture are not antagonistic, but that each is complementary 
to the other and a proper appreciation and use of both is 
necessary to the proper use of land in any country. 

Forestry Means Use. — On account of the way in which 
the forest policy in the United States was built up, the idea 
that forestry means locking up the forestry resources without 
using them has gained wide credence. This is an unfortu- 
nate misunderstanding, for forestry means freest and fullest 
use, consistent with the maintenance of a permanent timber 

It is an unfortunate circumstance that funds for the devel- 
opment and even protection of the National Forests were so 
tardy in forthcoming that many citizens got the idea that 
the " Forest Reserves," as they were then called, were set 
aside for the purpose of preventing extensive exploitation. 


Copyright, 1914, by F. F. Moox and X. C. Brown. 


This misconception has aroused much antagonism to the 
policy of the Forest Service. 

The opening of the agricultural portions of the National 
Forests to settlement, the wide use of the grazing areas within 
their boundaries, and with timber sales increasing year after 
year, the public is coming to appreciate the extent and char- 
acter of this use and as a result sentiment favorable to the 
Forest Service policy is rapidly taking the place of the old 
antipathy and distrust. 

The National Forests are now supplying free fuel, fencing, 
etc., to the value of $191,000 to 38,000 people living in and 
around the boundaries; timber amounting to over $1,500,000 
in value was sold during the current year; future sales to the 
extent of $4,500,000 were consummated; 1,500,000 people 
used the National Forests as a camping and recreation 
ground; over 10,000,000 head of stock grazed upon their 
grassy parks and 11 75 cities and towns and 324 irrigation 
and power projects drew their water from streams having 
their head-waters within the National Forests. Surely this 
is free and proper use. 

Forests may serve other purposes than the production of 
timber. For instance, bark for tanning or naval stores may 
be the end in view; or the indirect influences of the forest in 
retarding run-off or checking the force of drying wind (shelter- 
belts) are extremely important. However, the growing of 
wood is the chief end of the forest, for without timber, rail- 
roads, cities and in fact civilization would have been impos- 
sible. The other ends served by the forest are incidental for 
the most part. 

Forestry Versus Lumbering. — Forestry has been consid- 
ered by many to be synonymous with lumbering. This is 
not the case, however, but lumbering is, in reality, an impor- 
tant part of forestry. 


The chief point of difference between the lumberman and 
the forester is that the latter recognizes growth as a function 
of the forest while the lumberman entirely overlooks this 
fact and makes no provision for the future. 

The forester regards a piece of ground too steep or stony 
to be used for agriculture as true forest soil, which should 
produce successive crops of timber perpetually. If this area 
is now supporting a stand of timber, so much the better since 
growing timber is forest capital that can be harvested as soon 
as the timber crop is ripe and a new growth of trees started 

The lumberman, on the other hand, is more apt to con- 
sider a tract of virgin timber in the same light that a mine 
owner regards his mineral lode. It contains much valuable 
material that must be marketed with all despatch and then 
the land can be thrown aside as worthless. 

The difference between lumbering and forestry has been 
summed up in these words " Lumbering means devastate 
the country and move on " while forestry means " Develop 
the non-agricultural acres to their maximum and hold 

It is gratifying to see that in many parts of the United 
States lumbermen are realizing that timber cannot be classi- 
fied as an inexhaustible resource, and they are now taking 
steps to cut and utilize it as conservatively as market condi- 
tions will warrant. 

From the above definitions it can be readily seen that 
forestry is not based on sentiment nor upon the desire to 
preserve the forests for their beauty, but that the entire for- 
estry movement is founded on sound economic principles. It 
endeavors to make soils which are unfit for anything else 
produce a commodity that is practically indispensable. In 
addition, these non-agricultural areas which would other- 


wise lie idle are thus made to yield a revenue that will pay 
taxes and interest on the capital which they represent. 

In summing up, forestry and agriculture are coordinate 
and lumbering is a phase of forestry, for the mature timber 
must be cut so that a new crop may be started. 

Fig. i. — Homesteaders Claim inside Idaho National 
Forest, Idaho. 
The Forest Service desires each part of the National Forest to be put to its 
proper use. The land in the foreground is valuable for agriculture, hence it 
has been thrown open to settlerm 

Forestry Versus Arbj|ai»aiture. — Arboriculture and for- 



estry are also often cdSBKed and by many are used inter- 
changeably. There is a wide difference, however, between 
the two lines of activity. 

Arboriculture means the raising of trees singly or in groups 
for any purpose whatever, while forestry is concerned with 


growing trees in large bodies, called forests, for the produc- 
tion of timber. 

The wide use of the term City Forester has added to the 
confusion. It really should be City Arboriculturist, as the 
raising of single trees for shade purposes is his aim and not 
the production of timber, but nevertheless usage has almost 
sanctioned the former term. 

Need of Forestry in the United States. 

In spite of the large areas which at the present time are 
supporting wood growth, a definite clear cut forest policy is 
badly needed in the United States for the following reasons. 

First. We are cutting our timber about three times as 
fast as it is growing. 

Second. Our per capita consumption is unnecessarily high, 
being 260 cubic feet against 40 cubic feet in Germany and 12 
cubic feet in Great Britain. 

Third. Our per acre production has sunk so low under the 
poor forest management until it is only about one-fourth of 
the possible yield. 

Fourth. Already the end is in sight for some species of 
timber and the virgin supply of forest material in the United 
States will be practically exhausted by the year 1950. This, 
of course, means that from then on we will be compelled to 
use second growth timber which has been grown within the 
memory of man. Consequently, it behooves us now to take 
stringent measures to prevent waste; to protect our forests 
against fire and to increase the growth of our forests to the 
maximum; to get the new crop of trees started so that when 
the virgin forests have been exhausted it will be possible for 
the next generation to get forest products sufficient to supply 
their needs. 


The national government as well as the states are taking 
steps to forestall this situation by setting aside large areas 
of non-agricultural land to be used for producing timber for 
future needs. 

Development of Forestry. 

General. — Forestry, or rather arboriculture, was practiced 
by the ancients with some degree of success; in fact, the an- 
cient Greeks and Romans were much more skilled in the 
handling of woodlands than is generally known. Plantations 
in some instances were made close to the cities for local 
supply, and the selection system and coppice system of forest 
management were roughly practiced. Forestry was consid- 
ered at that time as a part of agriculture and the naturalist 
of that period dwelt upon the management of forests at con- 
siderable length in their agricultural treatises. Pliny goes 
into the technique of silviculture and among other methods 
mentions planting, grafting, layering and pollarding. 

Their science of forest management in some respects was 
decidedly advanced but, on the other hand, considerable 
superstition was intermixed with actual forest knowledge. 

Growth in Germany as Typifying Development. — Of all the 
modern nations Germany has most thoroughly mastered for- 
estry practice in all its details, and it is to the sturdy Teuton 
that we owe a heavy debt for the development of our 
national forest policy. Some of the early educators and ad- 
ministrators were of German birth and education and many 
American foresters have received a portion of their training 
in Germany. 

The study of the development of forestry in Germany is of 
more than ordinary interest because in reaching its present 
state of development it has passed through the various evo- 
lutionary stages which every country must experience. While 


German methods cannot be blindly copied in the United 
States owing to different economic and climatic conditions, 
nevertheless many of the fundamental principles can be appro- 
priated and their mistakes avoided. 

The chief use of land in the early days was for hunting and 

Fig. 2. — Marking Timber for Sale, Coconino National Forest, 

The United States owns 600 billion board feet of timber or \ of the national 
supply. It is the duty of the government to cut out the mature so that young 
growth may be started and future generations be supplied with this indispen- 
sable commodity. 

for pasture. Timber was plentiful, apparently inexhaustible, 
hence the forest was cut with no thought of the future. This 
custom of squandering natural resources is common to man- 
kind in general and was the rule in Germany in the tenth 
century as well as in the United States in the eighteenth 
and nineteenth centuries. 


During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, however, owing 
to the fact that local wood supplies were running short, and 
stringencies were in evidence, certain restrictions were made 
concerning the management of the forest land. Fuel was 
limited to the actual needs of the tribe. The timber to 
be cut was marked by some one in authority and bark 
peeling and burning for potash were forbidden. It is in- 
teresting to note the similarity of these restrictions to those 
put in force in the State of Maine from the years 1640 to 

This era passed to that of forest extension. During the 
fourteenth century considerable artificial reforestation was 
practiced. Nuremberg in 1368 planted between 200 and 300 
acres of spruce and fir and in 1491 the city of Seligenstadt 
agreed to plant 20 to 30 acres with oak each year. During 
the fifteenth century a timber shortage was feared and con- 
sequently more drastic measures to preserve the forest supply 
of timber were put in force. Pasture in newly cut areas was 
forbidden and a diameter limit was set by the city of Bruns- 
wick in 1483. Thus we see that the diameter limit is among 
the earliest of restrictive methods to be put in force in any 
country. It appears logical but in practice may do consid- 
erable damage in even aged stands. 

Toward the end of the fifteenth century, forest fire laws 
were enacted but not until the beginning of the eighteenth 
century did a general forest policy have its beginning. 

Under men like Cotta, Hartig and Heyer, the present elab- 
orate system of forest management which distinguishes the 
German forest practice was built up, and to the selection and 
coppice systems used by the ancients the shelterwood and 
clear cutting systems were added. 

State Regulation. — In this connection it might be inter- 
esting to trace the growth of state regulation, the endeavor 



of those in authority to regulate the cutting of privately 
owned timber. The first measure of this sort was passed in 
Bavaria in 1516. Brunswick toward the latter part of the 
sixteenth century and Wtirttemburg in the early part of the 
sixteenth century also passed measures regulating the control 
of timber cutting on private lands. Private properties were 
either directly placed under technical administration or per- 
mission to cut the timber must be secured from those in 
authority. Therefore the recent effort of the part of legisla- 
tion in Maine and Louisiana to regulate the cutting of timber 
on privately owned land for the benefit of the state at large, 
had its counterpart in Germany and Bavaria as early as the 
sixteenth century. 

Forestry Abroad. 

Germany. — At the present time the total forest of Ger- 
many contains about 35,000,000 acres; a little over three- 
fifths of an acre for each inhabitant. Intensive forestry is 
the rule and the result of their painstaking efforts during 
the 150 years that forest management has been in force are 
shown in the ever increasing yield and profits. 

France. — The state forest property in France amounted 
to 2,900,000 acres, which is less than 12 per cent of the total 
forest area. The Departments and Communes own about 
3,400,000 acres. 

The most notable achievements of the French foresters 
have been: 

1. The reclamation of waste lands and fixation of sand 
dunes. 275,000 acres of drifting land have been reclaimed 
during the last century and in the region called the Landes, 
composed of shifting sands and marshes, the French forest 
officers have reclaimed over 1,750,000 acres. Draining first 
and then planting was the method practiced in the moist 



locations and a total sum of $10,000,000 was expended in 
this district. It is estimated that the forests resulting from 
this investment are now worth upward of $100,000,000. 

2. Reforestation of mountain slopes has been carried on 
on a gigantic scale and at enormous expense. During the 
French Revolution large areas of the steep slopes were de- 
nuded and streams which had previously been easily con- 

Fig. 3. — Cattle Grazing within the Deschutes National Forest, 

One sixth of the total meat supply of the United States graze for a part of 
the year within the National Forests. 

trolled, became absolutely unmanageable. Altogether 1462 
streams became liable to flood and 1,000,000 acres of moun- 
tain land were exposed to erosion in addition to vast areas 
subject to overflow farther down the valley. The work was 
started in i860 and already an area of over 500,000 acres has 
been acquired and about half of it has been planted at a cost 
of $13,000,000. So far, 163 torrenU have been cured and 645 


greatly improved. The budget for the improvement of these 
mountain streams calls for an expenditure of $600,000 a year 
until 1945. It is estimated that the repair of these streams 
will cost upward of $50,000,000. 

Switzerland. — The Swiss republic while not possessing the 
forest area of either France or Germany has brought commer- 
cial forestry to a high state of development. Out of the total 
area 2,000,000 acres of forest, no less than 1,300,000 are owned 
by the cities and towns against 90,000 acres owned by the 
cantons. The state and town forests are managed intensively 
so that the yield of the former often goes a long way toward 
paying the expenses of the city government. 

The most notable example of this type of ownership is the 
Sihlwald, which has been owned by the city of Zurich since 
853, has been cut according to a specific plan since 1384 and 
now ranks as the best managed forest in all Europe. In 
spite of the large amount of money that is spent in tending 
the forest crop, the financial returns are remarkably high, 
no less than $7.25 per acre per year being the return from 
these non-agricultural acres, lying in the steep valley of the 

The use of forests as aids in flood prevention is highly 
appreciated and the Swiss government has already spent 
over $1,000,000 in subsidizing repair operation to control the 
mountain torrents by means of construction of stone and 
concrete barrages in addition to reforestation of the drainage 

In land of such steep slope where every acre of level agri- 
cultural soil is indispensable the working out of a combined 
system of reservoir construction and reforestation has kept 
every part of the land bearing to its utmost capacity and has 
resulted in an economic saving that is incalculable. 


Forestry in the United States. 

The forestry movement of the United States is of com- 
paratively recent growth compared with the centuries of 
technical forest management in Germany, France and Switz- 
erland, but in reality there were some attempts at forest pro- 
tection, etc., in colonial times. 

Early History. — William Penn as early as 1682 inserted a 
clause in the titles he gave, to the effect that one acre should 
be kept in forest for every five acres cleared. In view of this 
early attempt it seems like the irony of fate that Pennsyl- 
vania should have a larger per cent of unseated and denuded 
lands than any other eastern state. 

Federal legislation looking toward the preservation of a tim- 
ber supply first took the form of an attempt to provide naval 
timber in 1799 and 181 7. This was followed by another act 
in 1 83 1 which further protected species valuable for naval 
construction by providing a punishment for their destruc- 
tion. For about one-half century this statute was the 
only one in any way providing protection for the national 

These efforts at restrictive legislation were chiefly negative 
in character and had but little bearing on the forest policy of 
to-day. The real beginning of technical forestry in the United 
States can be traced to a paper read before the American 
Academy for the Advancement of Science in 1873 by Dr. 
F. B. Hough. A memorial was presented to Congress the 
next year by this Association and Dr. Hough was appointed 
Forest Agent in the Department of Agriculture in 1876. This 
agency which was chiefly a clearing house for information 
became a Division (1886) and later a Bureau of Forestry in 
the Department of Agriculture (1897). 

The funds for the maintenance of this division were ex- 


tremely meager and public opinion was decidedly apathetic. 
Despite this lack of financial and moral support splendid 
investigative and propagandist work was done in these early 
days and much of the later development of the Forest Service 
was planned and started in the dark days of the late 8o's. 

Extension of Forest Reserve Policy. — In 1891 a law was 
passed empowering the President to set aside from the national 
domain, forest lands whether wholly or in part covered with 
timber as public reservations. 

President Harrison set aside the first reserves and altogether 
there were withdrawn from the national domain during his 
administration over 13,000,000 acres. President Cleveland 
followed the lead of his predecessor and withdrew 22,000,000 
acres of the best timberland that remained unappropriated. 
Unfortunately the best that was then owned by the Federal 
Government could not compare in quality and location with 
the superb stands of timber that had been acquired by the far- 
seeing lumbermen of the Rocky Mountain and Pacific Coast 
States long before. 

As a result of this tardy recognition on the part of the 
National Government of the importance of acquiring a Fed- 
eral forest domain, the forest area now owned by the govern- 
ment in most cases lies far back in the mountains, remote 
from railroads and markets, while private concerns own the 
splendid timber in the valleys and on lower slopes. 

This act of President Cleveland aroused a storm of pro- 
test from the western lumber operators and land owners in 
general. They had seen the public domain loosely handled 
and so easily acquired for such a long time that they did not 
look favorably upon the withdrawal of this enormous re- 
source, rich in possibilities. In fact, much of the opposi- 
tion to the National Forest policy has been engendered and 
accelerated by these disgruntled lumbermen and stock men, 


who at that time lost the opportunity to make millions out of 
the property that belongs to all the people. 

Under McKinley's administration about 7,000,000 acres 
were added, bringing the total up a little over 46,000,000 by 

When Colonel Roosevelt took the presidential chair, the 
withdrawals increased enormously. Heartily in sympathy 
with anything concerning the public welfare and federal own- 
ership, President Roosevelt not only added to the forest area 
owned by the nation but with forestry as a lever set in mo- 
tion the conservation movement which has since so marvel- 
lously extended its activities. In both he was greatly aided 
by the eminent chief forester, Mr. Gifford Pinchot. 

When Colonel Roosevelt left office the area within the Na- 
tional Forests was 194,500,000 acres and the bulk of the forest 
land in the Coast and Rocky Mountain States still owned by 
the people was under the control of an efficient, non-political, 
technically trained body of men, the Forest Service, and was 
being administered by them for the best interest of the 
present and future generations. To Roosevelt and Pinchot 
the future American citizen will owe a heavy debt. 

Under President Taft the forestry movement extended 
itself but little as far as area was concerned but internal 
progress was quite rapid. The technical work went on; 
trails and roads were built; and telephone lines constructed 
for the better protection and management of the forest. 
Classification of the forest land has been practiced for some 
time which has resulted in the elimination of land better 
suited to agriculture or grazing than to timber raising. 

Present Situation. — At the present time the total area 
within the National Forest boundaries is 186,616,648 acres, 
situated in the United States, Alaska and Porto Rico, divided 
into 165 national forests, containing with the State Forests 


about one-fourth of the total forested area, one-fifth of the 
national timber supply and having a cash value of upward of 
two billions of dollars. This superb timbered area is now 
most efficiently administered by the Forest Service and every 
part is open to the freest possible use. Mineral claims may 
be patented within the forest boundaries; land more valuable 
for agriculture than for timber production can be acquired 
under act of June n, 1906. Open grass lands are extensively 
grazed, supplying feed to one-sixth the total meat supply of 
the United States. 

Finally ripe timber is sold as fast as purchasers can be 
found, under such conditions that the future supply of forest 
products is assured. All these phases of activity are being 
carried on actively, efficiently and honestly. In fact, the 
Forest Service furnishes a striking example of efficient govern- 
ment management conducted upon an enormous scale. 

Comparison with Conditions Abroad. — While in view of 
the preceding figures it would appear that enormous strides 
have been made in working out a forest policy in the United 
States within the last ten years, in reality we are still far 
behind most of the continental countries. The reasons for 
this tardy development are many. In the first place our 
forest policy does not date back more than forty years at 
the most while Germany for instance has been working and 
evolving systems of forest management for the last 150 to 200 
years. Then, too, economic conditions are not- comparable. 
The labor costs in America are extremely high and the 
value of stumpage is comparatively low. No less an author- 
ity than Mr. Pinchot has stated that with few exceptions no 
timber has been sold in the United States at a price equal to 
the cost of producing it. However, unless we do receive a 
higher price for stumpage and manufactured products, we 
cannot spare any of the meager profits to reinvest in our 


forest land to produce larger and better crops of timber. 
Finally while extensive lumbering is no doubt largely con- 
trolled by economic conditions nevertheless custom, often 
blindly followed by the lumberman, is responsible for 
much of the waste and poor management in American 

The amount of money and labor expended on the average 
German forest is startling to an American; there is on the 
average one employee to about 300 acres of forest. These 
figures give a marked contrast to the situation as it appears 
in the United States where owing to the short sighted econ- 
omy of Congress only about 2 J cents per acre per year is 
spent in protecting and improving the National Forest do- 
main and only enough funds are appropriated to permit 
one ranger or guard to every 125,000 acres. In Germany it 
is quite common for the man in charge to spend anywhere 
from $1 to $4 per acre per year taking care of the forest 
property and as a result of his careful administration a net 
revenue of from $3 to $10 per acre per year is obtained. 

State Work. — At the present time 13 states have a central 
body concerned entirely with the administration of a forest 
policy within their boundaries, while in 15 additional states the 
forestry activity is either entrusted to a commission or board 
which is also concerned with agriculture, fish and game or all 
of the natural resources of the state. In 3 states there is a 
single forest commissioner and forester, making a total of 31 
states in which definite strides are being made toward the 
development of a clear-cut forest policy, and of the number, 
20 have technically trained state foresters in charge of the 
work. The annual appropriations for forestry work range 
from several hundreds of dollars to over $300,000. 

Fourteen states have acquired lands to be managed as 
state forests, the areas ranging in size from 2000 to over 


1,800,000 acres. The total controlled by the states amounts 
to 3,400,000 acres.* 

In addition to practicing forestry on the publicly owned 
lands, most states are developing a splendid system of cooper- 
ative work with private owners. Advice is given concerning 
the management of farm woodlots, etc., seedlings are raised 
and distributed to citizens at a low cost, forest experiment 
stations are conducted by the states either in connection with 
the forests or at educational institutions. This propagandist 
work is telling not only in concrete forms, as evidenced by the 
fact that over 1,000,000 acres of private land are now planted 
to forest trees, but in the less apparent but enormously im- 
portant form of greater and increasing interest in forestry 
and conservation. Granges, civic organizations and women's 
clubs, especially throughout the east, are interested in forestry 
and conservation, and since under any free government a 
movement cannot advance faster than public opinion will 
sanction, it seems that the cumulative effects of the wide- 
spread educational policy are now appearing and that the 
future bodes well for forestry in the United States. 


Cleveland, Treadwell. What Forestry has Done. Forest Service Circ. 140. 

Cleveland, Treadwell. Status of Forestry in the United States. U. S. 
Forest Service Circ. 167. 

Fernow, B. E. History of Forestry. 

Pinchot, Gifford. Primer of Forestry, Parts 1 and 2. Published as Farm- 
ers' Bulletins 173 and 358. U. S. Dept. of Agric. 

Van Hise, Chas. R. Conservation of Natural Resources. 

Zon, Raphael. Forest Resources of the World. U. S. Forest Service Bulle- 
tin 83. 

Zon, Raphael. Future Use of Land. U. S. Forest Service Circ. 159. 

* For a complete tabular statement of status of State, municipal and 
private Forestry, see Appendix. 


Fig. 4. — A Seedling of Western Yew Showing Roots, Stem, 
Crown and Fruit. 
The strong tap root is in marked contrast to the slender laterals. 




A tree is a plant with a single woody trunk that does not 
branch for some distance above the ground. 

Even if 20 or more feet in height a plant that branches 
directly at the ground is considered a shrub, although some 
plants that are shrub-like in the northern part of their range 
attain tree form in the southern part, owing to a longer grow- 
ing season, greater precipitation, etc. 

Parts and Functions. 

A tree is composed of roots, trunk or stem, branches, leaves, 
flowers, fruit and seed. 

Roots. — The roots are of two kinds, surface and tap, de- 
pending on their shape and depth of penetration. The sur- 
face roots, as their name implies, run along under the ground; 
the tap roots strike almost directly down and in deep soils 
may attain great length. 

Of the tap-rooted species walnut, hickory and oak are the 
most prominent eastern species; longleaf and bull pine are 
the most notable of the southern and western species. Spruce, 
birch, elm, western larch, lodgepole pine and hemlock are 
surface-rooted species. Other trees, like cottonwood and 
red gum, may develop a combination system with either the 
surface or tap root more developed, depending on the nature 
of the site. 




The root habit of a species has an important bearing on the 
system of forest management which can be used. Spruce in 
the East and lodgepole pine in the Rockies can be thinned 
with difficulty, since, owing to their shallow root system, wind- 
fall is apt to follow the removal of some of the individuals. 

Fig. 5. — Upturned Western Yellow Pine, Montezuma National 
Forest, Colorado. 

In addition to possessing a stout tap root, this specimen had a strong set of 
lateral roots. The roots in the picture have a spread of over 20 feet in addition 
to the broken portion remaining in the ground. 

The roots serve to anchor the tree and at the same time 
supply it with food. The nourishing parts of the roots, the 
root hairs, are located just back of the growing point and the 
older and larger parts merely anchor the tree and transmit 
the nutrient solutions, the " raw sap," taken in by the root 


hairs. The soluble salts in the soil are taken in through the 
cell walls of the root hairs and are carried up through the ves- 
sels and tracheids of the sapwood. The reason for the rise 
of the sap is as yet not clearly understood, being variously 
ascribed to osmotic forces, atmospheric pressure, the action 
of the living cell and the suction of transpiration, with none 
of these hypotheses clearly proven. 

Root growth is greater in poor than in good soil and root 
extension is greater in a dry than in a wet season for the 
reason that the roots, under adverse circumstances, must 
seek further to provide the proper amount of food. 

Stem. — The stem, like the root, is composed of inner 
and outer bark, heart-wood and sapwood. Increase in di- 
ameter is achieved by means of the cambium layer which 
lays on a ring each year. Occasionally when the growth of 
the tree has been checked in mid-summer, owing to drought 
or defoliation, an extra ring may be laid on. The false rings 
are fainter, and more or less irregular and are generally easy 
to detect. 

The heartwood is located in the center of the trunk and is 
more or less inert material whose chief function is to strengthen 
and stiffen the trunk. It does not transmit any of the sap 
either up or down the tree, which may be proved by examin- 
ing some of the hollow trees so common in our pastures. 
Such trees live for years with the heartwood completely rotted 
away but if the cambium and sapwood were interrupted by 
a deep cut as in " girdling " the course of the elaborated and 
raw sap would be interrupted and death would almost imme- 
diately ensue. In certain species there is a limited amount 
of interchange between the heartwood and sapwood but for 
the most part it is the sapwood alone which is alive and 
which transmits the nutrient solutions from the soil to the 


The function of the bark is protective, and like the trunk 
it adds a ring each year. The rings, however, are much 
flattened by pressure, and, as a rule, are hard to detect. 

Leaves. — The leaves are the stomachs of the tree to which 
the thin watery solutions are carried. Here the water is 
combined with the carbon dioxide taken in through the 
stomata (those minute openings occurring chiefly on the under 
side of the leaves) to form sugars and starches. The carbon 
dioxide is split up and combined with water, the extra oxygen 
and water are given off and the process of assimilation takes 
place in the presence of chlorophyll. 

As stated previously the flow of the sap is not clearly un- 
derstood, but it is known that the raw sap is conducted to the 
leaves in the sapwood, that it is there elaborated, and that 
it then passes down through the cambium and bast to the 
growing portions of the tree. 

The part of the watery solution that is not combined passes 
out of the leaves in the form of a vapor, leaving the salts be- 
hind in the leaves and twigs. This process of evaporation, 
called transpiration, accounts for the fact that the leaves and 
twigs contain more mineral salts than any other part of the 

Consequently when the humus, which is composed of parti- 
ally decomposed leaves and twigs, is not destroyed by fire or 
burned up by direct exposure to the sun's rays, the fertility 
of the forest site remains unimpaired. In fact the soil be- 
comes richer year after year, because the roots are continu- 
ously bringing up mineral salts from the subsoil, which are 
left behind in the leaves in the process of transpiration, and 
when the leaf fall occurs this fertility is restored to the sur- 
face soil, adding to its mineral content, as well as vastly im- 
proving the physical quality by the presence of humus. In 
addition the bulk of the tree is composed of carbon dioxide 


and water, therefore a very slight demand is made on the 
soil in growing a crop of timber. This explains why land 
which is far too poor to cultivate profitably can raise a crop 
of timber satisfactorily. In a general way trees only require 
one-fourth to one-half as much fertility as the average field 

In addition to the transpiration process, which results in 
the giving off of oxygen and water vapor, the tree breathes 
like any other living organism; that is, it takes in oxygen and 
emits carbon dioxide. This breathing of the tree goes on con- 
tinuously but is not nearly so active as the assimilative proc- 
ess. Consequently much more carbon dioxide is used than 
is emitted and much" more oxygen is given off than is con- 

Considerable moisture is used for the building up of the 
plant and large quantities of water are needed for good 
growth. Consequently in regions where rainfall is scanty, 
trees may be present but their form will be decidedly poor. 

An English investigator states that a stand of beech 150 
years old will consume 400,000 gallons of water per acre per 
year. This seems an extremely large amount but in terms 
of rainfall is not excessive; in addition it must be remem- 
bered that beech is a moisture-loving species. 

Tree Characteristics. 

Of the various characteristics the following are the most 
important and will be considered in turn: 

Occurrence. Tolerance. 

Local extension. Duration of life. 

Form. Quality of wood. 

Soil and moisture requirements. Reproduction. 

Growth. Resistance. 


Occurrence. — Continental distribution of a species de- 
pends primarily on heat. Different species need various de- 
grees of heat for their proper development and the carrying 
on of the different life processes, and there is a certain average 
temperature for each process in a given species. 

For instance, the amount of heat required to germinate the 
seed of a certain species is much higher than for another, and 
on the ability of a plant to reproduce depends its range and 
natural extension. 

Moisture also has an important bearing and on large con- 
tinents while heat may affect the range north and south, 
moisture is apt to limit tree growth east and west; the inte- 
rior portions of the continent may have a rainfall that is too 
scanty to support tree growth. 

The altitudinal range of trees is really a question of heat 
since height zones due to the average temperature during the 
critical season can be clearly marked. The northern limits 
of tree growth varies from 55 degrees north latitude on the 
Labrador coast to 70 degrees north on the coast of Alaska; 
the presence of the Japan current accounting for this differ- 

The timber line on high mountains grows lower as we pass 
from the tropics toward the pole, since the zone of the same 
annual average temperature descends lower as colder climates 
are approached. 

In the Himalayas the timber line is found at 14,000 feet 
above sea level; in the Alps at about 7500 feet; and in the 
Adirondacks at about 4000 feet above the sea. For the same 
reason a species occurring at a given elevation in the southern 
Rockies will be found at lower elevations as the northern part 
of its range is approached. 

Ecologists are at variance regarding the length of the grow- 
ing season necessary for tree growth; some claim that 50 F. 


must be the average temperature during the four growing 
months, while others insist that it is the temperature during 
the six critical weeks that count. 

Concerning the southern limit for any tree it is generally 
believed that excessive heat is rarely, if ever, fatal, but a 
northern tree transplanted to a southern climate is apt to 
produce infertile seed, which limits the natural extension of 
the species. Also on account of the absence of the normal 
resting period, continuous growth may weaken the tree so 
that it will succumb to some destructive agency. 

To a certain degree the continental distribution is a matter 
of chance, either present or past. For instance fewer tree 
species are found on the European than on the North Ameri- 
can continent, owing to the fact that following the glacial 
epoch trees in Europe were unable to regain the ground they 
had lost because they were unable to extend themselves again 
beyond the lofty mountain ranges running east and west. 

On the North American continent the mountain ranges run 
north and south and the trees while temporarily pushed out 
of their ordinary habitat did not have high mountain barriers 
to hold them back after the recession of the ice sheet. As a 
result we have over 500 tree species in America against 100 
in Europe. 

Local Extension. — By local extension is meant the range 
of trees within their geographical distribution. 

Northern trees toward the southern part of their range are 
apt to be found on the northern and northeastern slopes; 
southern trees are apt to be found on slopes of a southerly 
aspect toward the northern part of their range. 

This point is of importance in the management of certain 
species as it may be useless to attempt the natural regeneration 
of a tree on a given site when it is not congenial, if considered 
in connection with its local distribution in that region. 


Form. — Each species of tree has a form that is quite 
typical but only a tree which has ample growing space, a 
pasture elm for instance, will assume this form. 

When a tree is growing in the dense forest the form will be 
affected by the crowding of its neighbors and as a conse- 
quence the typical form is altered. 

Aside from the amount of growing space the age of a tree 
has an important bearing on its form. Most trees attain the 
greater part of their height growth before there is any large 
diameter growth, consequently up to the age of 35 to 40 the 
average tree is apt to be tall and slender. 

Then after the period of most rapid height growth is past, 
the tree begins to put on flesh, as it were, and diameter and 
volume growth commence to increase. So marked is this 
characteristic that it is possible to roughly estimate the age 
of a tree by the amount of taper it possesses, for if a tree 
carries its diameter well up into the crown it is safe to assume 
that it is fairly mature. 

The quality of site on which the tree stands also affects its 
form. If the soil is thin with little moisture, the tree is apt 
to be short and scrubby, while if the tree is rooted in deep 
rich soil with plenty of moisture available, tall full boled trees 
are the rule. In fact the forester often gauges the quality of 
his forest site by the form and, especially, height of the trees 
growing on it. 

Light soils produce as a rule long straight boles of average 
diameter and medium crowns while heavy soils commonly 
produce trees with heavy round crowns and thick boles. 

Soil and Moisture Requirements. — Different species vary 
widely in the demands they make on fertility and water con- 
tent of the forest soil. 

In fact one of the first things a forester should realize is 
that an extremely close watch must be kept on the condition 


of the forest soil in order to encourage the growth of tfre de- 
sired species. 

German foresters claim that the forest soil is just what the 
man in charge makes it but this remark cannot be taken too 
literally, since a gravelly soil with excessive drainage can 
never support a good thrifty stand of a moisture-loving 

In each portion of a forest, the soil should be studied so 
that the proper species may be encouraged on the site where 
it can grow thriftily and make the kind of timber that the 
market demands. 

Hardwood species are inclined to be much more exacting 
than conifers since they need about four to six times the 
moisture and about double the fertility that the less exacting 
evergreens require. Of the coniferous species spruce requires 
much fresher and richer soil than pine, for example, and 
among the pines there are species which are less exacting than 
others. The red or Norway pine can grow on dry gravelly 
soils where white pine would perish and it is believed that the 
Scotch pine of Europe surpasses even the red pine in its 
drought-resisting qualities. 

Such species as walnut, maple, beech, etc., need a deep, 
rich, moist soil for best growth and on a site of this descrip- 
tion they can compete successfully with softwoods so that the 
latter will eventually be crowded out. Such trees as poplar, 
gray birch, black oak, and in the West the pinon and juni- 
per, are decidedly less exacting in their soil and moisture 

In each case there is a balance between the need for food and 
for sunlight. If there is plenty of food available sunlight may 
be reduced to a minimum and vice versa if a tree is found 
thriving under shade in a poor location it may be consid- 
ered extremely tolerant. 


Trees are easily satisfied in their youth and become more 
exacting as they grow older. There are many instances of 
plantations started on sandy soil which thrived up to the age 
of forty and then with no especial reason their growth rate 
began to decrease and the stand soon fell prey to fungus and 
insect attacks. It is because the site no longer sufficed and 
their resistance was lowered. 

Growth. — By growth we mean the increase of a tree in 
height, diameter or volume. Of these height growth is of 
first importance in the early life of a tree, since on the early 
height of a seedling depends its fate in the struggle for ex- 

Height growth varies widely according to species, locality 
and treatment. Primarily it depends on the energy of the 
leading shoot; the terminal bud is larger and the energy there- 
fore is greater. Any influence which favors the formation 
of a hardy bud and later helps this bud to develop can be 
counted on to favor height growth. In many cases repro- 
duction will get started under the shade of the older trees and 
for a few years appear to be thrifty. Unless the canopy is 
opened the seedlings will lose their thrifty appearance, the 
foliage will change to a pale yellowish green and the buds in- 
stead of being large and vigorous will become small and 
weak. When this is the case light must be given immediately 
or the reproduction will die. 

Of all the factors influencing height growth, light perhaps 
is of paramount importance since it is absolutely necessary to 
assimilate plant food. Direct light is not absolutely neces- 
sary at first and by some it is believed to retard height 
growth, for the lengthening of the shoot takes place in the 
night or in the early morning hours. The energy of the sun's 
rays supplied, either by direct or diffused light, must be 
available, else growth of any kind will cease. 


Heat also is indispensable for growth. Below o° C. growth 
practically ceases although certain species of Arctic plants 
grow through the snow. Above 40 to 50 C. growth also 
stops on account of excessive heat. The optimum tempera- 
ture is considered to be from 20 to 30 C, depending on the 
individual habits of the species. 

Water is absolutely essential for life and growth since cell 
division is dependent on the presence of water within the cells; 
in fact 95 per cent of the growing tissue of a plant is water. 
Vigorous height growth is an index of sufficient water as well 
as plant food in the soil, and lack of moisture nearly always 
causes scrubby growth. 

Aside from the effect of the site on the height growth of a 
given tree, the species itself is extremely important. Of all 
the trees found in the United States, the exotic eucalyptus 
is capable of attaining the greatest height, but of the native 
species the sequoia has that distinction, reaching a maximum 
height of from 320 to 350 feet. 

A tree increases in height most rapidly during the early 
part of its life, and, after the bulk of the height growth 
has been attained, the diameter and volume growth tend to 
increase. Intolerant trees are generally the fastest growing; 
sprouts are also faster growing than seedlings of the same 
species owing to the large root system already formed, but 
the growth of sprouts soon culminates. 

Extreme density is apt to decrease height growth, owing to 
the reduction of light and excessive competition between the 
roots, but reasonable crowding is beneficial since with unlim- 
ited growing space the bulk of the growing energy of the tree 
is dissipated in branch production rather than in produc- 
ing a large, straight, cylindrical bole. One investigator 
claims that the rapid height growth of trees in close stand 
is due, not to the limiting of branch production, but to the 


fact that electrical currents are set up when the lower 
branches interlace. 

A tree increases in diameter by laying on a ring of wood 
each year deposited by the cambium layer and the increase 
in volume depends on height and diameter growth together. 
On the whole it might be said that they are subject to the 
same laws as height growth, but species is relatively of more 
importance. The increase in volume is apt to begin earlier 
with intolerant trees since the struggle for existence is termi- 
nated earlier with light-demanding individuals, leaving fewer 
trees standing on the site to utilize the solar energy and 
plant food. Trees having the same height may differ in 
diameter as 1:4, depending on the closeness of the stand. 

Since between 50 to 60 per cent of green wood is water it is 
found that the dry weight of wood produced by trees of 
different species is much closer than the volume produced, in 
the same time. Consequently trees of light specific gravity 
are the best volume producers and since tolerant trees can 
stand closer together and can assimilate food from the air 
and soil equally well, it follows that the largest volume per 
acre is produced by tolerant trees of light specific gravity. 

The size of the crown as a rule is ordinarily a good index 
of the amount of volume growth, for a tree with a large crown 
can elaborate more food to be distributed about the trunk. 
One theory concerning the distribution of growth is that 
woody material is laid on in the greatest amounts where it is 
needed most; that stress in the tree acts as an irritant as it 
were, and that extra amounts of wood are laid on where the 
strain and irritation is the greatest. Trees that are standing 
in the open have thick trunks at the base where the strain is 
the greatest and trees leaning downhill have the widest rings 
on the downhill side. 


After Pinchot, trees may be classified according to their 
size as follows: 

Up to 3 feet in height — Seedlings (provided they are of 
seedling origin.) 

3 to 10 feet in height Small saplings. 

10 feet in height, 4 inches in diameter. . . Large saplings. 

4 to 8 inches in diameter Small poles. 

8 to 12 inches in diameter Large poles 

1 to 2 feet in diameter Standards. 

Over 2 feet in diameter Veterans. 

Tolerance. — The ability of a tree to endure shade is called 
tolerance. The amount of shade that different trees can 
bear varies widely according to the species. 

Of all the factors that influence tolerance the amount of 
food and moisture available is the most important, for if a 
plant has enough food and just enough light to assimilate it, 
the tree can thrive, but if the amount of food in the soil is 
limited the tree needs all the solar energy possible to elabo- 
rate a sufficient amount of food. 

In this connection the length of the growing season is of 
great importance because a long season permits the tree to 
lay up a large amount of food in the parenchyma on the 
days that diffused light is available; therefore we often find 
that trees in the southern part of their range are much more 
tolerant than they are in the northern part. The red cedar 
commonly regarded as an intolerant tree in the North grows 
quite frequently in the South under the shade of the yellow 

Trees possess inherent characteristics concerning the 
amount of shade they can bear. Species like the pitch pine, 
aspen, western yellow pine, etc., are ranked as intolerants and 
require full sunlight for their development. Trees like white 



pine, yellow birch and chestnut are in the middle of the scale; 
while beech, hemlock, hard maple, western red cedar, etc., are 
markedly tolerant and can grow in quite heavy shade. Some 
of the important trees might be classified as follows regard- 
ing tolerance. 





Hard maple 
Red maple 
Black gum 
White elm 


Red oak 



Black walnut 

Black locust 
Tulip poplar 
Gray birch 
Black cherry 





Balsam fir 
Hemlock, eastern 

Spruces, eastern 

White fir 



Loblolly pine 
White pine 
Scrub pine 
Red fir 
Douglas fir 
Western white pine 

Lodgepole pine 
Western yellow pine 
Red cedar 
Pitch pine 
Norway pine 

Intolerance is a characteristic which tends to increase with 
age. White pine seedlings can grow and thrive for a few 
years in the shade of older trees. However, the increasing 
need of light soon becomes apparent. Their leaves become 
pale yellow instead of a deep lustrous green, and their buds 
become smaller and less vigorous in appearance. 

Shade-bearing species usually have the following charac- 
teristics : 

The forest has a dense canopy, the trees have thin leaves, 
thin bark, thick sapwood; branches are persistent, and on 
the ground a thick layer of humus is usually found, owing 
to the density of the canopy which shades the soil and 



retards normal disintegration of humus by largely excluding 
the sun's rays. 

Tolerant trees, as well as those having a low requirement 
for plant food and moisture have a great advantage in seizing 
and holding forest sites. Owing to their ability to stand 
shade they will ultimately crowd out more intolerant species 
and occupy large areas, provided a proper dissemination of 
seed is possible. Light seeded trees, like the aspen and gray 
birch of the Northeast, often seed in over large areas after 
a forest fire, but they merely constitute the " nurse crop " 
and are generally crowded out by the slower growing but 
more tolerant individuals like the white pine and spruce. 

Duration of Life. — The length of time which a tree lives 
depends largely on a combination of internal and external 
conditions. Some scientists claim that a tree never dies of 
old age, but that its death is always due to external factors. 
However interesting that statement may sound it is true, 
nevertheless, that there are certain definite ages which given 
species do not seem to exceed, and ordinarily there is a certain 
average age which may be put down for each species. 

Some species are remarkably long lived. The sequoia, at- 
taining an age of 3500 years, is the longest lived American 
tree. Short-lived species are also noticeable in the way they 
tend to disintegrate at certain ages. For instance a stand 
of aspen generally breaks up at about 90 years of age and in 
fact the best yields are obtained when the stand is cut at 
about 25 years of age, as the growth rate falls off early. 

The bulk of a tree lasts but a few years and then becomes 
inert; the sapwood which is alive gradually turns into heart- 
wood, which serves chiefly to stiffen the trunk of the tree. 
The growing points of a tree, however, are alive and continu- 
ally expanding. 

To attain this maximum age, normal for a given species, 


conditions must be favorable. There should be sufficient 
room for proper crown development and there should be also 
sufficient space for the roots to develop without excessive 
competition. If the site is sufficient and if there is enough 
light, the life of a tree will be greatly prolonged. In fact 
trees growing in the open are considerably longer lived than 
those of the same species grown in forests. 

Of short-lived trees poplar, balsam fir and gray birch are 
the best examples of the eastern species which reach their 
climax between 60 and 80 years. Lodgepole pine for the 
Rocky Mountain species is considered short-lived, maturing 
at 120 to 200 years. Beech and maple may be considered 
mature at an age ranging from 300 to 400 years and white 
oak, Douglas fir, sugar pine and western larch average about 
500 years. The sequoias, as before mentioned, are examples 
of long lived trees, as the big tree reaches an age estimated 
from 3500 to 5000 years and the redwood may live from 
1000 to 1500 years. 

Quality of Wood. — The quality of wood laid on by any 
species is very largely a matter of the individual. For in- 
stance, spruce wood is composed of long fibers which makes 
a light elastic wood extremely valuable both for wood pulp 
and musical instruments. Oak produces a dense heavy wood 
which can withstand considerable crushing force, and conse- 
quently the two are used for entirely different purposes, the 
difference in structure affecting the use. 

Within the same genera there is considerable difference in 
the quality of wood produced by the different species. Long- 
leaf pine, for instance, is extremely dense and hard and 
endures crushing strength almost as well as white oak. Lob- 
lolly pine, on the other hand, is extremely light, brittle and 
is of very little use where strength is required. 

Rapidity of growth also influences the strength and quality 


of wood. As a rule, it may be said that in ring porous woods, 
like chestnut and oak, the more rapid the growth the stronger 
is the wood produced, because after spring wood has been 
formed, the dense layer of summer wood is added to the 
growth ring. This latter part is really the supporting portion 
of the ring and the faster the growth, the larger is the propor- 
tion of the summer wood. Consequently chestnut sprouts 
are considered stronger than the more slowly growing seed- 
lings and are in greater demand for piles and poles. 

The influence of the quality of the soil on tree growth also 
is quite remarkable. Light sandy soil tends to produce a 
fine grained wood which is usually less tough and of less fuel 
value and durability than specimens grown on heavy soil. 
On clay soils the growth is apt to be slow in youth and the 
stands mature later on such situations. The wood is exactly 
the reverse of that grown upon sandy soil, being heavy, dura- 
ble, tough, and of good fuel value. 

Reproduction. — This characteristic of a tree is of extreme 
importance to a forester as on the successful starting of new 
growth depends the future forest crop. 

There are three methods of natural regeneration: 

1. By seed. 

2. By sprouts. 

3. By suckers. 

1. Seed production depends physiologically on the ability 
of a plant to elaborate more food than it needs for growth, 
and after accumulating it in the parenchymatous tissues for 
several years, it disposes of the extra energy by bearing an un- 
usual quantity of seed. Some seed is produced every year as 
a rule, but these years of large seed production called " seed 
years," vary with different species as far as frequency is con- 
cerned and indeed within the species, depending on climatic 
conditions, site, etc. 


Some species are noted for the frequency of their seed 
years and the total amount of seed produced. Others may 
produce a very small amount or an average amount with low 
fertility per cent. Light seeded intolerant trees are more 
apt to produce a great deal of seed and such trees as birch 
and aspen are apt to seize upon any piece of land whose 
surface meets their requirements for a germinating bed. If 
a species makes but slight demands on the soil during the 
early part of its life, the chances are so much the better that 
a permanent stand will be established. 

Light, next to food of course, is the most important consid- 
eration in seed manufacture. Consequently open grown trees 
produce a larger amount of seed than those grown in close 
stand and can produce seed at a much earlier age. Twenty- 
five years is the average age at which open grown trees begin 
to bear seed, while those in close stands will begin to bear at 
40 years as a rule. Forest grown trees bear their seed chiefly 
at the top, while those submerged beneath the canopy of the 
forest rarely bear any seed at all. A tree growing in the 
open with plenty of light available will bear seed at the ends 
of practically all the branches. 

Heat is also of importance in seed production, as a tree 
growing in its optimum range or toward the southern part 
of its range is apt to bear more and better seed than a tree 
of the same species much farther north owing to more 
favorable growing conditions. A seed year is due to the 
favorable temperature and moisture conditions of the previous 
season or seasons and therefore are apt to become more fre- 
quent with good climatic conditions and freedom from any 
disturbance, such as defoliation, drought, etc. They do not 
occur in the same year throughout the range of the species 
but the interval is apt to be about the same. For instance, 
the white pines in Maine may have a splendid crop of cones, 


while those in the Adirondack^ may be bare the same 

Some species bear seed at a very early age but, as a rule, 
the seed produced is apt to be of low fertility. Lodgepole 
pine has been known to produce seed as early as six to eight 
years; jack and scrub pine at about the same age and pitch 
pine at about ten years of age. 

Seed production, however, is at its best in the economy of 
the tree after the period of most rapid height growth is past. 
At this time the crown commences to develop, and the food 
supply begins to catch up with the demand. When silvi- 
cultural maturity approaches, that is, when the stand begins to 
open up and reproduction starts naturally, seed production is 
apt to be at its best. 

Seed is produced by trees until they are very old and it is 
not uncommon to find a tree producing a heavy crop of seed 
a year or two before it dies. 

There is a wide difference of opinion about the quality of 
seed produced by these old trees and the quality of repro- 
duction that will result if they are left as seed trees. Some 
believe that the seedlings will be weak while others state 
that while the fertility may be low, the seeds that are fertile 
will produce good stock as the individual seed bears the im- 
print of 10,000 ancestors and is not affected by the condition 
of the immediate parent. 

2. Reproduction by Sprouts. — Starting a forest by means 
of sprouts is known as coppicing and is a very desirable 
means of regeneration with certain species, as maple, chest- 
nut, catalpa, etc. It should not be continued too long, as it 
is apt to exhaust any but the richest and heaviest soils, on 
account of the frequent exposure to sun and wind. 

Practically all hardwoods sprout during youth but some 
retain their sprouting capacity longer than others. Seedling 


chestnut will sprout up to 120 years of age, while sprout 
chestnut has difficulty in coppicing after 60 years. Under 

Fig. 6. — Butt of Redwood Sprout Showing Bark, Sapwood, 
and heartwood. 

Redwood is one of the few conifers that is capable of reproducing by sprout- 
ing from the stump. 

ordinary circumstances the coppice method should be used 
only on short rotations as the sprouting capacity is apt to be 
uncertain after 40 years, as a rule. 


Repeated coppicing tends to lower the vitality of the parent 
stump, and consequently many blank spots are found in a 
forest that has been repeatedly coppiced. 

A few of the conifers sprout, but the sequoias are about 
the only species of conifers which produce sprouts of eco- 
nomic importance. Shortleaf and pitch pine are quite fre- 
quent sprouters under certain circumstances but the sprouts 
produced are short-lived and of little importance. 

3. Reproduction by Suckers. — By suckering is meant the 
sending up shoots from underground roots. This method 
of reproduction is not of economic importance, as a rule, be- 
cause the suckers of most species are extremely apt to die. 
In certain species, however, such as beech and poplar, growth 
from suckers is often responsible for the extension and main- 
tenance of the stand. Black locust also reproduces in this 
way, and when it is once established in a field the more the 
mature trees are cut out, the denser will be the thicket of 
suckers sent up from the roots. 

Resistance. — Trees, like individuals, are damaged by 
various agencies, and different species are able to resist these 
agencies in varying degrees. 

Among the enemies to the forest, wind, snow, insects, 
fungi and fire may be mentioned and each will be considered 
in detail in the Chapter on Forest Protection. 

The individual resistance of a given species is of extreme 
importance in forest management and the desirability of a 
tree depends on its vitality and ability to throw off the at- 
tacks of various enemies. Trees like white oak, which is 
particularly favorable to the spread of the gypsy moth, and 
the white pine, which is badly attacked by the pine weevil 
and blister rust, are discriminated against in regions where 
such pests prevail. 

An intimate knowledge of the relative resistance of the 


different species is part of the forester's stock in trade, as on 
such knowledge is based the decision concerning mixtures to 
use in planting or which species should be favored and which 
should be discriminated against, in a thinning or reproduction 

The Tree as a Unit. 

The tree to the forester is the fundamental unit which in 
large numbers forms the community, the forest, in which 
he is chiefly interested. It is upon the forest, its relations 
and reactions that the forester bends his energies. The 
characteristics of a tree, its soil requirements, its reactions 
to light, its height, growth, etc., are only interesting and im- 
portant in so far as they affect the selection of site, the den- 
sity of the stand, the outcome of the struggle for existence. 
In other words forestry is a science in so far as it is based 
upon the close and intimate knowledge of the single tree as a 
unit; it is an art because it applies this scientific knowledge 
of the individual, in producing timber from trees grown in 
groups or communities. 

Marsh, Geo. P. The Earth as Modified by Human Action. 
Merriman, C. H. Bulletin U. S. Biological Survey. 
Nisbet, John. Studies in Forestry. 
Pinchot, Gifford. Primer of Forestry, parts i and 2 published as Farmers' 

Bulletins 173 and 358. U. S. Dept. of Agriculture. 
Schlich, William. Manual of Forestry. Silviculture. Vol. 2. 
Schimper, Dr. A. F. W. Plant Geography. 



The Forest as a Community. 

A forest is a community of individuals which itself has a 
life. It is more than a mere group of trees since it includes 
not only the tree but the soil, the undergrowth and repro- 
duction. The Germans even include the game and stock 
within the realm of the forester's activity. 

The component parts of a forest bear the same relation to 
each other as do the individuals in a town or village. The 
trees are mutually dependent and at the same time com- 
petitive. They protect each other against wind throw and 
snow break; the close canopy allows the formation of humus, 
and yet they compete for food, moisture and light. So sharp 
is this competition that a stand of ioo trees per acre at 200 
years may be the final survivors of 10,000 seedlings which 
started on that acre, the balance having perished in the 
struggle for existence. 

The duty of the forester is to learn the habits of the trees 
which make up this community so that congenial species may 
be encouraged and the maximum growth of the forest as a 
whole be secured. 

Characteristics of a Forest. 

The knowledge of the life, development and need of the 
various trees constitutes the science of silvics, while silvi- 
culture, based upon this knowledge, is the art of tending the 
forest community to produce the maximum amount of tim- 
ber in the shortest time. 



A forest must possess the following characteristics: 

First. The crowns must meet so as to produce a certain 
amount of shade. 

Second. Natural pruning must have commenced so that 
there is some clear space on the forest floor, i.e., the canopy 
must not begin immediately above the ground. 

Third. There must be an accumulation of humus on top 
of the mineral soil. 

Fourth. The form of the individual must be typical of 
the forest, rather than of open-grown trees. 

A young plantation will not meet the above requirements 
and thus cannot be considered a forest until the crowns meet 
and some natural pruning takes place. The above condi- 
tions cannot be 'ully met in such situations as the arid 
Southwest where an open stand is unavoidable, owing to 
limited moisture. 

Division of a Forest. — For the purposes of description and 
management a forest is often divided into various parts. The 
terms used to characterize these portions will be briefly defined. 

Stand. — A generic term referring to a specific part or the 
whole forest. It usually needs further qualification, as " even- 
aged stand," " dense stand," etc. 

Type. — A part of the forest having a distinct individ- 
uality that requires separate treatment. It is the ultimate 
unit in description and intensive management. Types may 
be based on composition, age, stand per acre, etc. 

Influence of Forest on Locality. 

Aside from the importance of forests in producing timber, 
there are certain influences exerted by forests which make 
them practically indispensable. In certain regions these in- 
direct influences may be paramount to timber production as 
in the mountainous regions of France for example and in fact 


in parts of the United States where water is at a premium. 
In the former country steep slopes are being sodded and 
planted on a large scale primarily to assist in controlling the 
mountain torrents rendered unmanageable by over-cutting 
subsequent to the French Revolution. 

The indirect influences which forests exert are felt in three 
ways; viz. effect of forests on 

i. Climate. 

2. Precipitation and run-off. 

3. Soil. 

Climate. — Whatever influence forests have on climate is 
somewhat localized. It is well-known that the climate of a 
wooded area is more equable than that of an open country 
since the ground is less exposed to insolation, the radiation of 
heat is checked, and the currents are retarded. This action 
of the forest is of great value in hot countries and advantage 
is often taken of it in rendering wind-swept areas more hab- 
itable by planting windbreaks. Forests exert the greatest 
change in the climate during summer, with spring following, 
next autumn, and the least influence of the forest on climate 
is felt in winter. Humidity is increased by the presence of 
large bodies of forest cover, since the relative humidity of 
forest air may be as much as 10 per cent higher than the 
humidity in the open spaces near by. 

Precipitation and Run-off. — It is very doubtful indeed 
if the presence of forests has any marked effect on the 
amount of rainfall. However, experiments carried on by 
French and Swiss foresters indicate that under certain cir- 
cumstances large masses of forest cover at high elevation may 
tend to increase the annual amount of precipitation by chill- 
ing the moisture-laden atmosphere. 

For the most part, however, this effect of forests is not 


conclusively proven and the forests are chiefly considered as 
retarding the run-off of the water precipitated. 

Run-off and Erosion. — Following a rain storm the speed 
with which water reaches the rivers depends very largely on 
the condition of the surface of the soil and its porosity, as well 
as on the slope. As far as heavy spring showers are con- 
cerned it is estimated that fully 25 per cent of the rainfall 
is absorbed by the trunks, branches and leaves, causing this 
portion of the total precipitation to reach the soil after the 
bulk of the rain has been soaked up by the humus and litter. 
Some part of the precipitation is evaporated from the trunk 
and branches directly into the air, and never reaches the soil 
at all. 

Tree roots also have their part in retarding the run-off, for 
wherever they enter the soil, basins are formed in which small 
pools of water collect. These act as miniature storage reser- 
voirs running off to the next basin farther down the hill when 
the upper one becomes full. 

The humus, of course, is one of the most important parts of 
the forest in affecting run-off owing to its composition and 
structure. It is extremely hygroscopic and can hold many 
times its own weight of water, and the relative water-holding 
power of a water shed covered with dense forest is much 
superior to that displayed by a steep slope denuded by fire. 
On the whole, the forest from canopy to humus and roots 
acts as a great sponge which first must be filled before the 
excess water will run off in the streams and rivers. Snow lies 
longer in the spring within the forest and when it melts is 
largely absorbed. Springs are much more common in forested 
land than in the open, and brooks and streams are more apt 
to have continuous flow if the water shed is forest-covered 
than if it is denuded. 

The effect of forest cover is most noticeable in mountain- 



Fig. 7. — Eroded Hillside, Madison County, North Carolina. 

In regions where soils are heavy and deep, where slopes are steep and rain 
storms torrential, erosion is all too frequent. 


ous countries having steep slopes, deep alluvial soil and with 
heavy rainfall. Such regions are apt to suffer badly from 
erosion after the forests are removed. In extreme cases the 
damage is not only confined to cutting away fields on the 
upper slopes, but in many cases the bottom lands during 
floods may be covered with sand and gravel, rendering fertile 
land unsuitable for agriculture. It is estimated that upward 
of 200 square miles in the United States are annually laid 
waste by erosion, while the alluvial soil deposited at the 
delta of the Mississippi represents the fertility of thousands of 
acres. Steep slopes subject to erosion should not be clear cut 
or if some clearing is necessary for agriculture, strips of forest 
land should alternate with the cleared areas to check the force 
of the run-off. 

Soil. — While trees undoubtedly withdraw fertility from 
the soil, their general effect is to enrich rather than exhaust. 
The reason being that the roots of the trees draw large quan- 
tities of soluble salts from the lower strata of the subsoil and 
deposit these salts in the leaves and twigs during the process 
of transpiration. When the leaves fall these salts are depos- 
ited on top of the surface soil and gradually decompose under 
the action of bacteria, fungi, etc., thereby adding to the 
richness of the surface soil. 

The physical condition of the soil is also improved by the 
forest. The presence of roots either actively growing or de- 
caying adds to the porosity of the soil, and the effect of 
humus in correcting the binding quality of clay and improv- 
ing the cohesiveness of sandy soils is well known. 

Nowhere is the influence of forests on soil more marked than 
in the pine barrens of the South. Numerous cases can be 
cited where fields were covered by " old-field pine " (pinus 
taeda), after the Civil War and a splendid crop of timber was 
grown. On clearing the land splendid crops can be raised 

silvics 47 

for the first three or four years, drawing upon the richness 
which had been deposited by the forest. At the end of that 
time the accumulation of humus and organic matter has been 
exhausted, crops commence to decrease in value and within a 
few years the land is abandoned and the cycle starts again. 

Influence of Locality on Forests. 

(Factors of Location.) 

A tree or a forest composed of trees is largely affected by 
environment and consequently ecology, the science dealing 
with the dependence and adaptation of plants to surrounding 
factors, is extremely important in the proper handling of 
forests. Different species react differently to the various 
factors and as a result different kinds of tree communities are 

The most important ecological factors are as follows: Air, 
light, heat, moisture, soil and exposure. 

Air. — Air is composed chiefly of nitrogen and oxygen, and 
a limited amount of carbon dioxide, all of which are necessary 
to plant life. The relative proportion of the component 
parts varies but slightly at different locations and elevations. 
However, in some regions, the atmosphere may contain cer- 
tain gases or constituent parts which may have injurious 
effects on plant life. Sulphur dioxide, for instance, may be 
found in perceptible quantities in the air near smelting or 
pulp plants and may kill plant life within a radius of several 
miles, and salt winds from the ocean are found to be injurious 
to certain kinds of trees. 

All plants take carbon dioxide from the air and in the 
presence of chlorophyll build up the carbohydrates with 
the addition of the water taken in by the roots. Some of the 
legumes have the additional power of absorbing the nitrogen 


from the air and fixing it in the soil through the medium of 
nodules of bacteria attached to the roots. 

Light. — Light is the source of all energy and has been dis- 
cussed in its bearing upon growth. The effect of light de- 
pends largely upon the season, as its intensity decreases with 
the obliquity of the rays of the sun. Latitude and altitude 
also affect light, the intensity decreasing toward the north 
but increasing with altitude. 

The duration of light is as important as its intensity since a 
definite amount of energy and plant food is required by each 
species. Those possessing more sensitive chlorophyll or hav- 
ing leaves with better arrangement possess an advantage, as 
with the same amount of light they can exceed their rivals in 
vitality. Shade bearers, for instance, can produce vigorous 
buds with only diffused light, and certain of the tolerant 
trees, like spruce and beech, can thrive with little direct sun- 
light. Very little light is required in extreme youth as the 
seed can germinate in shade and grow for a short time on the 
food stored in the cotyledons, but growth cannot be kept up 
for any length of time without the energy which light affords. 
During advanced age also the tree needs but little light, the 
greatest demand for light being made during the period of 
most rapid growth when large amounts of energy are re- 

Heat. — For each plant there is a certain optimum, maxi- 
mum and minimum temperature. Cell division, transpira- 
tion and assimilation all require a certain amount of heat. 
Heat is influenced by the following factors: 

First. Elevation above the sea level. It is claimed that 
in the Alps between 300 and 400 feet increase in elevation re- 
sults in lowering the average annual temperature one degree. 

Second. The presence of large bodies of water. Large 
lakes or bays store up heat during the summer time and 


release it slowly in the fall and winter. On the whole their 
tendency is to retard the seasons and to prevent rapid fluctu- 
ations in temperature. 

Third. Aspect and gradient. Sites facing southwest to 
southeast have a higher annual temperature than those facing 
northwest and northeast and the angle at which the sun's rays 
strike the ground also affects the amount of heat available. 

Fourth. Presence or absence of forest cover. Open coun- 
tries without lakes and forests are subject to much more rapid 
change of temperature than the forest regions which are well 
watered. The forest protects the soil from insolation, in- 
creases the relative humidity of the air, retards drying winds 
and in general renders the climate more equable. 

Moisture. — As has been stated in the preceding chapter, 
moisture is of extreme importance for plant life and growth. 
There are two kinds of moisture, soil and atmospheric. Some 
species, like hemlock, prefer locations where there is plenty of 
both, while others, like the eastern larch, seem to require 
plenty of soil moisture alone. Atmospheric moisture, how- 
ever, is of great importance since it is not only the original 
source of the precipitation, but also it controls the rate of 
transpiration which, in turn, has its effect upon the inflow of 
nutrient solutions. 

The importance of soil moisture in plant economy is more 
apparent, having the following functions: 

First. It regulates the temperature of the soil by evapo- 

Second. It is the solvent for salts which are absorbed by 
the tree. 

Third. With carbon dioxide absorbed by the leaves it 
is worked up into starches and sugars in the presence of 

Moisture in the plant has the following functions: it in- 


creases the toughness of the wood, it makes the salts within 
the cell soluble, and permits the plant to accommodate itself 
to changes in temperature by increasing or decreasing the 
amount of water evaporated. In locations where the tem- 
perature is the same, the amount of moisture available con- 
trols, to a large degree, the local distribution of given species. 
Plenty of moisture in the soil, however, does not necessarily 
mean sufficient moisture, since certain factors influence imbi- 
bition. Salt in the soil, for instance, has a drying influence 
on the roots, owing to disturbance of osmotic pressure. Humus 
acids prevent the taking in of water, and the frozen soil makes 
it impossible for the water to pass through the cell wall. 
Consequently a tree growing at high elevations in a rare at- 
mosphere, where transpiration is intense, is apt to suffer from 
limited water supply in spite of heavy precipitation. 

Trees requiring moisture: Trees enduring drought: 

Cottonwood Norway pine 

Beech Jack pine 

Black ash Pitch pine 

Maple Red cedar 

Cypress Black oak 

Spruce Chestnut oak 

Eastern hemlock Black locust 

Eastern larch Mesquite 

Western red cedar Western yellow pine 

The coniferous trees require less moisture than broadleaf 
species and in some respects might be classed with the inter- 
mediate, like chestnut, red and white oak, etc. 

Soil. — The character of tree growth in any region is largely 
a matter of soil and by soil the forester considers not only the 
mineral portion resulting from weathering of rock, but also 
the organic material which has been added through the decay 



of vegetable growth on top of the mineral soil, because on the 
effect of both together depends the reaction of the tree to the 

The component parts of forest soil may be described as 
follows : 

Fig. 8. — Vertical Section of Forest Soil near Washington, D. C. 

Forest floor, humus, masses of superficial fibrous roots and soil proper are 
all shown. 

The " forest floor " lies on the top of the mineral soil 
in three distinct layers. The upper layer consists of the 
recently fallen leaves with little or no change in structure. 
Beneath this we find partly decomposed matter, the leaves 
still showing traces of their original structure; and directly 
on top of the mineral soil is the humus proper. It is black 


and crumbly material, showing no traces of its former struc- 
ture. It is this portion of the forest floor which supplies 
the richness for tree growth, and the rapidity of the forest 
growth depends largely on the proper decomposition of this 

The requirements for normal decomposition of humus are 
bacteria or fungi, sufficient heat and moisture, and proper 
amount of air. Long winters with resulting short growing 
seasons ordinarily mean deep layers of humus and in the 
north woods it is not uncommon to find the duff or litter 
anywhere from one to three feet in depth. Compact soils 
ordinarily have a deep layer of litter, while porous soils are 
apt to be extremely hungry and rapidly consume the humus. 
It takes two to three years for hardwood leaves to disinte- 
grate to humus, while coniferous needles take longer, four to 
five years on the average and even up to eight years. The 
extra durability of the needles is due to the presence of 

The physical properties of the soil are perhaps of greater 
importance to the forester than the chemical, because on 
account of the low fertility required by forest growth practi- 
cally any soil is able to support tree growth, provided sufficient 
moisture is available. The chief physical properties of the 
soil may be enumerated as: 

ist. Consistency. 

2d. Water-retaining capacity. 

yd. Permeability. 

4M1. Capacity to become heated. 

Of these consistency and incidentally permeability are 
perhaps the most important. Unless the soil structures are 
sufficiently permeable, the water will not sink into the soil 
and, consequently, will not be available when needed. If air 


is excluded from the soil, it will result in the killing of the 
roots, since the roots require air as much as leaves. This 
may be proven by noting the frequency with which trees 
die when their roots are covered with additional earth 
following grading operations. This has led to the hy- 
pothesis that the knees of the cypress have been developed 
as a breathing organ to supply air to the roots during the 
gradual lowering of the southern coastal plain. 

The ordinary texture and permeability of the soil is wonder- 
fully improved by the addition of humus. It tends to loosen 
binding soils, makes them more permeable to air and water, 
and also adds to the hygroscopicity and water-holding ca- 
pacity of sandy soils. Humus tends to correct the faults of 
all soils due to physical structure and at the same time adds 
greatly to their fertility. 

The soil itself has life, as it shows changes in form and com- 
position from time to time. Darwin, as a result of his in- 
vestigations, has shown the extremely important role played 
by worms in changing the chemical composition and physical 
structure of soil, proving that they neutralize acid and 
assist in working the soil and mould together, and increase 

In addition to animal life in the soil, the bacterial action is 
extremely important. Investigators claim that one pound of 
humus contains anywhere from 90 to 250 millions of bacteria 
and their presence may determine the success of tree growth 
as well as that of agricultural crops. Spruce, for instance, 
can grow on poor sandy soil, provided Scotch pine is mixed 
with it, since the additional nitrogen added to the soil by the 
mycorrhizae of the Scotch pine roots makes the growth of 
spruce possible. Animal life is found to be most numerous 
in the upper two feet of forest soil; below six feet it practi- 
cally ceases to exist. 


Exposure. — The direction which a slope faces often has 
an important bearing on the kind and quality of tree growth 
found upon it. 

A northern slope gets no full sunlight and the rays fall 
obliquely. Winds are cool but not drying. Snow melts 
slowly in the spring, hence it is moister. All points are in 
favor of easy germination of seed, hence natural regeneration 
is easy. It is a most desirable aspect. 

The east slope is cool and moist; fairly late in spring, vege- 
tation is late in starting, consequently, there is little damage 
from late frosts. On the whole it ranks next to a north 

The south and west slopes are ordinarily the least desirable. 
The ground is parched by the sun and wind; seeds are apt to 
dry out, making natural regeneration difficult, and sunscald 
is quite common in thin-barked trees. 

All these conditions may vary in different parts of the coun- 
try, depending on local factors. In the Puget Sound country, 
for instance, the west slopes receive the heaviest rainfall and 
support the densest growth. 

Formation of Forest Types. 

By forest type is meant the ultimate subdivision of a forest 
sufficiently distinct to affect its management. Forest types 
in nature are formed in many ways. 

The average forest, if left absolutely undisturbed by natural 
agencies, including fire, insects and wind, and if secure from 
lumbering operations, would in the course of a century or more 
develop into what is called a climax or ultimate type of forest 
which is suited to the particular region in which it grows. In 
this forest would be found trees of many ages and many dif- 
ferent species, and, for the most part, reproduction would be 
started beneath holes in the canopy made by the death of 


veterans. In short, in the virgin forest growth is generally 
balanced by decay. 

Aside from species and composition, types may be separated 
on the basis of topographic situation, as cove, valley or ridge 

Age and quality of site are sometimes used as qualifying 
factors, aside from composition, and may separate portions 
of the forest containing the same species. Examples of these 
types would be Northern Hardwoods, Quality II, or White 
Pine, 21 to 40 years. 

Pure versus Mixed Forests. — The controversy over the 
advantage of growing forests composed of one species alone 
or several species mixed together has been long drawn out 
among European foresters. Among American foresters also 
there has been a wide difference of opinion. 

With intolerant species, like western or southern yellow 
pine, whose natural tendency is to grow alone, there can be 
little choice unless underplanting is resorted to later, to pro- 
tect the soil and thereby improve the growth rate. Tolerant 
species growing at first in a mixed forest may ultimately 
become pure by crowding out the competing species. 

Other species, however, like white pine or spruce, may be 
grown either pure or mixed with certain advantages attached 
to either method. 

Pure forests are easy to start artificially or naturally dur- 
ing a good seed year. Since the silvical characteristics of at 
least 80 per cent of the trees is the same, a pure forest is easy 
to tend. At maturity the marketing is comparatively easy, 
since there is a large quantity of one kind of lumber to be sold. 
However, pure forests, composed of 80 per cent or more of 
the same species, are subject to excessive damage from insects 
or fungi, and in case of shallow-rooted species may suffer 
severely from windthrow. 


Mixed forests, on the other hand, are not troubled so severely 
with insects or fungi as there is not such a large number of 
the required host. Windfirm species protect those with shal- 
low roots and there is less competition, owing to the different 
heights and the different root habits of the various species. 
Owing to the dense canopy the soil is kept in splendid condi- 
tion, natural pruning is more rapid and larger yields are the 

However, great skill is needed to bring a mixed forest to 
maturity. There are many different requirements for light, 
soil and moisture, and in some cases the tree desired may 
be crowded out by some faster-growing species of low tech- 
nical value which was merely inserted as a filler. 

One of the most serious drawbacks to mixed forests is 
the difficulty experienced in marketing small quantities of 
several different species. While there is no serious drawback 
in Europe where timber markets are fairly stable, it may 
prove a disadvantage in the United States. The general 
tendency in American forests at the present time is to use 
simple mixtures, preferably in groups, suiting each species to 
the proper soil. 

Life History of a Forest. 

Various points covering the development of a seedling 
have already been given in this and previous chapters. The 
development of the forest, as a whole, will now be con- 

The simplest condition would be to trace the development 
of a plantation: 

At first the trees stand far apart, each having sufficient 
room and all crowns reach the ground. At the end of eight 
to ten years the lower parts of the crowns have developed to 
such an extent that some of the branches interlace; some 

silvics 57 

twigs die out from too much shade, and natural pruning com- 
mences. At this point the life of the forest begins. 

The form of the individual tree now changes, the canopy 
rises above the ground owing to continued natural pruning, 
leaves accumulate on the soil, the forest floor commences 
to form and the characteristics of a forest tree become more 

From this time on the struggle for existence is most keen. 
Tree classes soon form and those possessing the most vigor 
soon commence to surpass and suppress their less vigorous 

At the end of, say, forty years the various tree classes are 
well defined. They may be described as follows: 

i. Dominant trees; those overtopping all others. 

2. Co-dominant; thrifty trees slightly below class i, but 
still receiving light on the sides of the crown. 

3. Intermediate; trees rapidly falling behind and now re- 
ceiving light only on the top of their crowns. 

4. Suppressed; individuals hopelessly submerged beneath 
the canopy. 

5. Dead; those trees which have already succumbed in the 
struggle for existence. 

From middle age to maturity the struggle is not so keen as 
during the period of most rapid growth, but individuals 
drop out from time to time so that at ninety to one hundred 
years only a fraction of the number remain which were pres- 
ent at the beginning. 

As maturity approaches and each surviving tree has appro- 
priated all the growing space it needs, a still further diminution 
in numbers is noticed. The canopy opens up, seedlings ap- 
pear on the ground beneath, and silvicultural maturity, the 
time when the forest naturally reproduces itself, is at hand. 



From this time on the veterans will gradually die and their 
places will be taken by seedlings growing up from beneath 
until gradually the ultimate or climax forest for that region 
and site will cover the ground. 

Eig. 9. — Two-storied Forest. Southern Yellow Pine. 

Young reproduction has seeded in so uniformly as to form a juvenile forest 
beneath the broken canopy of the older trees. 

Forest Description. 

In order to cover all points needed to determine the silvi- 
cultural treatment of a forest, all factors of site and every 
point regarding the condition of the forest which would affect 
its growth, development or needs must be taken into con- 
sideration. To that end the forester makes an exhaustive 
study of a piece of woodland prior to commencing operations 
and the following headings are covered: 



General Description of Forest. 

First. Location and Area. — It is always wise to bound a 
forest and locate the different portions even though the region 
be entirely familiar. Accurate measurement of boundaries 
and estimate of area are essential where lumber is valuable. 

Fig. io. — Dense Reproduction of Douglas Fir. Columbia National 
Forest, Washington. 
Fires by removing the thick layer of organic matter may leave the ground 
in splendid condition for reproduction provided all of the seed trees have not 
been destroyed. This timber was fire-killed nine years previously. 

Second. Physiographic Features. — Under this heading we 
include the topographic formation, underlying rock, the soil 
with regard to general character distribution, and its influence 
on forest types. 

Third. The Forest Proper. — Under this we are concerned 
with the general composition and origin of the forest whether, 
for example, hardwood or coniferous, and whether of sprout 
or of seedling origin. 


Under the forest types we consider in detail the following: 

(a) The proportion of the forest area in each type; 

(b) The relation between type and site; 

(c) The species present and the various percentages; 

(d) The density, age and distribution of forest types; 

(e) The size of the trees, height and diameter; 

(/) The condition of the forest floor including humus, litter 

and ground cover; 
(g) Character of reproduction. 

Fourth. Condition of the forest by individual types. — 
Under this heading is covered: 

(a) The silvicultural needs of each type; 

(b) The damage caused by fire, windthrow, insects and 

(c) Possibilities of lumbering and 

(d) Merchantable condition of the forest. 

These topics when properly treated will give a clear and 
comprehensive idea of the forest conditions that will enable 
proper recommendations to be given for its management. 
While some of the points may seem rather minute, the bear- 
ing of them all is important and too much rather than too 
little information is preferable. 


Hall, W. L. & Maxwell, H., Surface Conditions & Streamflow. U. S. Forest 

Service Circular 176. 
March, Geo. P. The Earth as Modified by Human Action. 
Nisbit, John. Studies in Forestry. 
Pinchot, Gifford. Primer of Forestry, Parts I and II, published as Farmer's 

Bulletins 173 and 358. U. S. Dept. of Agric. 
Schlich, William. Manual of Forestry. Silviculture. Vol. II. 
Zon, Raphael. Principles Involved in Determining Forest Types. Forestry 

Quarterly, Vol. VI, No. 3, p. 263. 
Zon, Raphael & Graves, H. S., Light in Relation to Tree Growth. U. S. 

Forest Service Bulletin 92. 


Silviculture is the art of reproducing and maintaining 
forests to get the best possible returns. The method of ap- 
plying this art in securing continuous crops of timber is called 
a silvicultural system of management. 

Forests may be reproduced either naturally or artificially. 
Artificial regeneration by means of planting, sowing, etc., is 
covered separately under Chapter VI. 

The objects of silviculture are to produce continuous crops 
of the best timber in the shortest length of time and with the 
least consistent expense. The objects, however, may differ 
with the kind of ownership. For instance, private owners 
will naturally desire the best financial returns as a result of 
their forestry practice and have this one object in view, 
whereas public forests have a much broader function. Be- 
sides the yield of direct revenues in the form of saw logs, 
poles, ties, cordwood, etc., public forests, such as our State and 
National Forests, serve a very important purpose in equal- 
izing the stream flow to prevent erosion and floods and in 
furnishing a steady supply of water for irrigation, water 
power, and municipal water supplies. Some forests, called 
protection forests, are maintained solely for these latter pur- 
poses. It is obviously impossible to measure in terms of 
dollars and cents the value of these functions. For this 
reason, too, the states and federal government can afford to 
practice silviculture on the high mountains and poorer soils 
and leave the better soils for private interests which must 



secure attractive financial returns from their investment as 
in any other business. 

Trees vary so much in their characteristics and methods of 
growth, as explained in the chapter on silvics, that various 
systems have been devised to suit these differences in securing 
natural reproduction. Some trees, like yellow poplar and 
western yellow pine, demand full light for growth; others like 
beech, spruce and hard maple, flourish in partial shade; some 
scatter their seeds readily in the wind; others grow in 
even-aged stands or in all-aged stands; hardwoods sprout 
up from the stump when cut, and so on. Each individual 
tree has certain characteristics which must be studied and 
determined before it can be decided to which system of 
reproduction it is best suited. Altogether the principal 
silvical characteristics which determine the method to be 
used in connection with it are: (i) Relative ability to pro- 
duce and scatter seeds. (2) Sprouting capacity. (3) Char- 
acter of roots or windfirmness. (4) Tolerance or ability to 
endure shade. (5) Habit of growing in even- or all-aged 
stands. (6) Ability to grow in pure or mixed stands. 

Methods of Natural Reproduction. 

There are three methods of securing natural reproduction, 
as follows: (1) By seeds. (2) By coppice or sprouts. (3) 
By root suckers. Of these, reproduction by seed is by far 
the most important. Sprout reproduction is only used suc- 
cessfully with certain hardwoods in the East, while suckering 
is relatively unimportant and is not relied upon to reproduce 
our forests with any very important species. 

By Seeds. — Reproduction directly from seed is secured by 
leaving so-called mother trees singly, in groups, or in strips 
to reproduce a cut-over area. Most of our trees begin to 
produce seed when quite young and only scatter seeds every 



few years. For instance, Norway pine seeds every three or 
four years, while white pine seed years occur six or seven 
years apart. Lodgepole pine begins to produce seed at six 
years of age and red spruce at fifteen years. The quantity 
of seed and the frequency of seed years depend on the amount 
of food material stored up in the trees. Therefore, trees seed 
less and more infrequently in the northern limits of their 
distribution, because the conditions of growth there are not so 

Fig. 21. — Brush Piling in Minnesota. 
Brush disposal is sometimes used to aid in natural reproduction by exposing 
the mineral soil for seed germination. Its chief purpose, however, is usually 
for fire protection. 

favorable. Light is the great single factor in seed production. 
Every one knows how full a chestnut or pine is with seed when 
growing in the open. In dense stands, trees produce very 
little seed because each individual tree gets very little light. 
Trees under shade seldom seed. The best seed is produced 
when the energy of the tree is greatest. This accounts for 


the fact that some seeds have a high percentage of germina- 
tion, because they are taken from vigorous, healthy trees. 
Therefore, trees left for seed production should be young or 
middle aged, rather than old, defective specimens. 

Seeds are dispersed in many different ways. Some are 
light; others are heavy. This is important in natural repro- 
duction, because on it depends whether a system of clear 
cutting or gradual thinning can be adopted in renewing the 
stand. The principal means of distribution are wind, birds, 
animals, water and gravity. Willow and yellow poplar seeds 
are light and are often carried a mile or more from the 
parent tree. White pine seed has been blown one-half mile 
and given good reproduction. Heavy seed, such as the 
chestnut, hickory and walnut, are scattered by small animals, 
such as chipmunks, squirrels, etc., and by rolling down slopes 
by gravity. Red cedar and cherry are examples of species 
distributed by birds. Water often carries seeds great dis- 
tances. Cottonwood and willow on the sand bars and banks 
of our rivers are often started from seeds carried downstream. 

Many seeds are scattered, of course, that never germinate. 
It is estimated that millions of seeds are sown that never 
spring up, because insects and rodents destroy them or because 
they do not reach a favorable germinating bed. Some trees 
prefer a leaf mould or old rotten logs on which to germinate. 
This is especially true of hemlock and spruce. Others are 
partial to a mineral seed bed, as in the case of Douglas fir and 
white pine. Some trees, such as lodgepole pine and Jack pine, 
require a great amount of heat to open their cones. The graz- 
ing of sheep often stirs up the soil and assists the germination 
of seeds. 

By Coppice or Sprouts. — Sprouting is confined to the broad- 
leaved species although pitch pine, shortleaf pine and redwood 
often sprout after cutting or being killed back by fire. 


Most hardwoods such as chestnut, the oaks, ash, and maple, 
sprout from dormant buds in the root collar, at the surface 
of the ground. Some, however, such as poplars and willows, 
will often sprout from adventitious buds at the surface of the 

Sprouts are shorter lived than trees from seed and after 
a certain age, usually forty years, their capacity to send out 
shoots rapidly diminishes. Sprouts grow much faster than 
trees from seed, because they have reserve energy in the form 
of food material stored up in the roots. Chestnut is our best 
sprouter and will often shoot up eight to ten feet the first 
year after cutting. It will produce telephone poles and cross- 
ties in forty years and good sized saw logs in fifty years. 
Sprout stands are usually managed, however, on short rota- 
tions up to thirty or forty years to produce fuel, fence posts 
and rails and other small materials. Catalpa will often shoot 
up ten to twelve feet in one year when cut back. This gives 
a tall straight growth. Eucalyptus sprouts have, in excep- 
tional cases, reached a total height of sixty feet in ten 

By Root Suckers. — Shoots from the roots of trees are 
called suckers. Some species sucker when apparently in good 
health while others, such as elm, basswood, and sycamore, 
send out shoots from the roots only when wounded. Beech 
and aspen are, perhaps, our best examples of root suckering. 
In fact, in certain regions reproduction is almost wholly 
secured by this method. As a general method of reproduc- 
tion, however, suckering is relatively unimportant and it is 
doubtful if it will enter into forestry as a means of renewing 
the forests on a commercial scale. Practically all aspen 
stands are reproduced by suckering. 


Natural Versus Artificial Reproduction. 

The question of securing reproduction of forests by natural 
means or by planting or sowing has always been a very im- 
portant one in forestry. Much can be said in favor of each 
method, but the local conditions will be the determinant factor 
in each case. In Europe, where forestry has been practiced 
for from three to four hundred years, artificial regeneration 
is by far the principal method employed, especially where 
the most intensive practices may be followed. There is, 
however, a growing tendency even in Germany and France 
to follow nature more closely. It may be said, nevertheless, 
that in this country it will be many years before planting will 
be resorted to on a large scale, because it is so comparatively 
expensive, costing from $6 to $10 per acre at least. In addi- 
tion, many of our species are adapted to regeneration by 
natural means either through sprouting from stumps or the 
distribution of seeds. White pine in the Lake States and 
Northeast, loblolly pine in the South, lodgepole pine in the 
Rocky Mountains and Douglas fir in the Northwest are 
splendid examples of trees that reproduce themselves natur- 
ally and successfully from seed. Wherever forests have been 
denuded by lumbering and then burned by disastrous fires, 
the only practical means to employ is to plant. New York 
has already planted about 12,000 acres on state and private 
lands. The United States Forest Service reforests about 
30,000 acres annually by planting and seeding. 

Advantages of Natural Reproduction. — The great argu- 
ment in favor of natural reforestation is its cheapness as 
compared to artificial methods. The only cost involved is in 
the leaving of seed trees individually or in groups or strips. 
These may be a few thrifty growing or old defective trees so 
that this investment may be almost negligible. Natural re- 


production also follows nature more closely and the kind or 
mixture of trees best suited to the locality is the result or can 
be easily secured by proper thinnings. There is apt to be 
less washing of the soil and exposure to the elements, because 
with most of the methods of natural reproduction the ground 
is protected by at least a partial forest cover. Then, too, in 
this country where intensive forestry will not be practiced 
until our virgin forests are more completely cut over and 
market conditions improve, natural reproduction can best 
be practiced especially in our rough mountains and remote 
forest areas. 

Advantages of Artificial Reproduction. — As opposed to 
the above, the following is a summary of the advantages of 
establishing and renewing forests by artificial means: 

1. Reproduction is secured immediately. Seed years are 
often far apart and natural reproduction may require a num- 
ber of years to satisfactorily cover the cut-over area. 

2. It is sure, provided proper methods and species suited 
to the soil and climate are used. 

3. The best trees suited to the local market may be used. 
Sometimes species not naturally growing in the locality may 
be employed with success. 

4. Each tree is given the proper space for growth which in 
the end means a greater and better product. 

The Cost of and Returns from Silvicultural Practice. 

In the practice of silviculture, it is obvious that it is more 
expensive than the old method of lumbering in this country 
which had no thought of the future. And in order to be 
practicable it must insure in the long run an adequate return 
on this increased investment. Perhaps this can be best ex- 
plained by a comparison of wood production in this country 
and abroad. Under our present haphazard system of care- 



Fig. 12. — Marking Mature Trees for Removal under the Selec- 
tion System. Coconino National Forest, Arizona. 
In the Southwest, western yellow pine grows largely in even-aged groups. 
The group selection system is, therefore, applied with best results. 


less cutting, enormous lire losses and improper care of our 
growing forests, it is estimated that on an average only twelve 
cubic feet of wood are produced per acre annually in this 
country. Contrasted with this the annual production of 
wood in Germany is over forty-eight cubic feet per acre. In 
other words, it has been very profitable for Germany to en- 
gage in the intensive practice of silviculture. Their economic 
conditions are responsible in a measure for this, but they do 
not in themselves explain this wide discrepancy. 

The added costs that are usually involved in practicing 
silviculture may be briefly enumerated as follows: 

1. Increased cost of logging in removing only a portion of 
the stand at a time and in protecting young growth from 

2. Cost of marking trees for removal. 

3. Value of mother trees left for seeding purposes. 

4. Cost of supervision and protection from fire, such as 
brush burning, patrol, etc. 

It is apparent that the cost of these operations will vary 
greatly according to the silvicultural system employed, and 
the local conditions, such as the markets, cost of labor, type 
of forest, method of logging, etc. For a lumberman to employ 
fairly intensive management, the increased cost would be 
between 50 cents and $2 per thousand board feet logged. 
This cost would be distributed about as follows: Fire pro- 
tection and supervision would cost annually about 2 to 7 
cents per acre; brush burning, if used, about 25 to 75 cents 
per thousand; cost of securing reproduction from $2 to $8 per 
acre and increased cost of logging from 20 cents to $1 per 
thousand board feet. 

The returns, on the other hand, will also vary greatly. The 
forests of one of the German states have averaged as high as 


$5.40 net per acre per year. Some of the famous municipal 
forests have yielded $7 per acre per year. In New England, 
white pine plantations have yielded as high as 6 per cent on 
the original investment, even under our comparatively un- 
favorable market conditions. Some Middle West plantations 
have brought an annual return of over $10 per acre per year 
with catalpa, white pine and Cottonwood. Several of our 
states are purchasing large areas of cut-over or second growth 
forests which will no doubt pay good returns as a long time 
investment. Ordinary forests in this country may be made 
to yield at least from $1 to $4 per acre per year. This can 
be done on soils unsuited to agriculture which would other- 
wise be unproductive waste land. With improved market 
conditions and better methods of logging, the returns in the 
future are sure to be even greater. 

Silvicultural Systems of Natural Reproduction. 

The following systems of reproducing the forest by natural 
means are generally recognized: 

1. Selection system. 

2. Clear-cutting systems. 

3. Shelterwood system or stand method. 

4. Coppice or sprout system. 

Each of these systems is carried out in practice with a great 
many variations to suit the local requirements. Under in- 
tensive practice the forest type is the basis of management. 
The type may extend over a few or many hundred acres. 
In any case, the whole tract is usually sub-divided into 
compartments and each compartment is cut over annually 
or periodically so that there is a continuous yield. For in- 
stance, if a tract of white pine is to be managed on a rotation 
of 100 years and a portion of it is to be cut each year, there 


will be 100 compartments. Thus, when the last compart- 
ment is cut over, the first one will have reached maturity 
and will be ready for the axe. If, on the other hand, it is 
only planned to make a cutting every five years, this area 
would be sub-divided into 20 compartments. 

Selection System. — Under the selection system the trees 
are removed individually or in groups as they reach maturity 
and there is a gradual succession of young trees growing up 
to take their places. It is the popular idea of the means that 
are employed to keep our forests in a continuously productive 
state. With our rough and extensive system of forestry in 
this country, the selection system is easily applied and re- 
quires less skill than any of the others except the coppice 
system. Many of our lumber companies employ it in a rough 
way in taking out of the woods only the larger and finer 
specimens of merchantable trees. It is the method princi- 
pally employed up to the present time on our National For- 
ests, because market conditions do not often permit the use 
of the clear-cutting or shelterwood systems. It is also best 
used in our woodlots, where the larger trees can be cut from 
time to time and the smaller ones left to grow up and develop, 
while seedlings take the places of those removed. 

Under the principles of this system, however, it is only 
applicable to stands where all-age classes are represented 
(selection forest). That is, if a cut is made every ten years 
on a rotation of sixty years, there should be at least six dis- 
tinct age classes represented. This distribution of age classes 
must be maintained, because only the periodic or annual 
growth should be cut, and it is necessary to have the requisite 
number of young trees growing up to fill the places of those 
removed at the time of cutting. For example, on a tract 
of 1000 acres if the annual growth of all the trees is found to 
be 500 board feet per acre, this amount could be removed 


annually per acre, or 5000 board feet per acre every ten 

A rough method commonly followed to regulate this yield 
is the use of the diameter limit. That is, all trees above a 
certain minimum diameter are removed unless needed for 
seed purposes or to protect the soil from erosion. This 
method is especially useful in placing a virgin forest under 
at least some rough system of sustained yield. In the West 
lodgepole pine is often cut to a diameter limit of 10 inches; 
western yellow pine to 15 inches and Engelmann spruce to 
14 inches. In the East spruce is cut to 8 inches for pulp wood, 
hardwoods, such as beech, birch and maple, to 15 inches; hem- 
lock to 14 inches, etc. Certain undesirable species in the 
stand can easily be discriminated against by reducing the 
diameter limit for them so that, through repeated cullings, 
they will be eliminated in favor of better species. 

In addition to being applicable to selection forests (stands 
of all age classes), this system should theoretically be used 
with tolerant and windfirm species. Where all ages are rep- 
resented, the young trees will have to come up under partial 
shade at least and when the large trees are removed it opens up 
the stand considerably and many trees are likely to be thrown 
over by the wind unless they are deep and strong rooted. 

Whenever a selection forest contains different age groups 
instead of individuals, tolerance and windfirmness are appar- 
ently not so important. Western yellow pine in the South- 
west, an intolerant tree, is a good example of management by 
the group selection method. 

The advantages of the selection system may be summed up 
as follows: 1. It is easily applied to virgin forests and tracts 
where only rough forestry is permissible and only the largest 
and best individuals can be marketed at a profit. Little skill 
is required. 



2. It maintains the forest cover and therefore prevents 
erosion and floods. 

3. It is inexpensive. The only added cost is slightly more 
expensive logging and the cost of marking trees for cutting 
which is only about from 3 to 10 cents per thousand board 
feet marked. 

Fig. 13. — Clear Cutting with Individual Seed Trees. Minnesota 

National Forest. 
Ten per cent of the trees in the original stand of white and Norway pine are 
left to seed up the area. 

Clear Cutting Systems. — With this system the forest or 
a portion of it is cut clear. There are a great many variations 
of this system. Reproduction may be secured from adjacent 
forests or from seed trees left standing in the area logged 
either individually, in groups, or in large blocks. It is prin- 
cipally applied in Europe by cutting consecutive narrow- 
strips each year or periodically against the direction of the 
prevailing wind. 


The conditions that require the use of the clear cutting 
methods are: 

i . Where trees are shallow rooted or grow in exposed places 
and there is danger of being thrown by the wind. Examples: 
red spruce, lodgepole pine and white cedar. 

2. Where trees grow in even-aged stands so that logging 
can be done cheapest by removing the whole stand and what- 
ever reproduction is present cannot be protected. Examples: 
Douglas fir, redwood and white pine. 

3. Where trees are intolerant of shade and need full light 
for reproduction. Examples: western white pine, western 
larch and southern cypress. 

4. The use of light seeded species, such as pines, spruces, 
yellow poplar, etc., the seed of which can easily be carried by 
the wind. 

Conspicuous examples of the use of clear cutting in this 
country are in the Northwest with Douglas fir, lodgepole pine 
in Montana, western white pine in northern Idaho and red 
spruce in the Adirondacks on exposed situations. On the 
Deerlodge Forest in Montana, lodgepole pine seed trees have 
been left singly, in groups and in strips. Reproduction with 
this species is so thrifty when the soil is burned over to open 
the cones and prevent fire danger that the young trees often 
come in too dense for best development. On this forest clear 
cutting is advisable not only on account of the silvical char- 
acteristics of lodgepole pine but also on account of the market 
conditions. The Butte mining district uses not only saw logs 
and mining stulls but also enormous quantities of mine props 
and lagging and fuel wood so that there is complete utilization 
of all available material logged from the forest. 

Leaving white pine seed trees scattered over the lumbered 
area has been tried in Minnesota but the isolated seed trees 


were blown over by the wind. This system was also unsuc- 
cessfully used with western white pine in Idaho but by leav- 
ing large blocks or groups of seed trees, for mutual protection, 
this difficulty was avoided and excellent reproduction secured. 
These blocks were located on ridges and vantage points to 
obtain the best seed distribution. 

Fig. 14. — Clear Cutting Method Leaving Seed Trees in Groups. 
White Pine Type, Northern Idaho. 

About 25 per cent of the area is left in groups of trees on elevated positions 
to seed up the area that has just been cut clear. The brush is burned broad 
cast or in piles. 

The yield may be regulated in the same way as explained 
in connection with the selection system, that is, only the 
growth is cut from time to time. 

The brush and slash after logging is disposed of either by 
piling and burning the brush or by burning it broadcast. 


This is done both to reduce the risk from fires and to expose 
the mineral soil so that the seeds may germinate more easily. 
The disadvantages of any of the adaptations of the clear 
cutting systems are as follows. The advantages have been 
briefly mentioned above. 

i . Clear cutting exposes the soil and leaves it susceptible to 
deteriorating influences, such as erosion, baking of the soil, loss 
of humus and occupation of the soil by grasses, weeds, etc. 

2. The young trees are exposed to damage by insects, 
frost and drying by wind and sun. 

3. It is only applicable to light seeded, intolerant trees that 
grow in even-aged stands, and, under certain conditions, trees 
that are windfirm. 

It may be added, however, that the disadvantages of clear 
cutting may be minimized by cutting very small areas or 
narrow strips at one time. The larger the areas cut, the 
greater are the dangers and likelihood of securing unsatis- 
factory reproduction. 

Shelterwood or Stand Method. —This is a highly theo- 
retical system of management and will not be used, except in 
a very rough way, for a long time in this country. It is 
seldom used even in Germany and France and demands the 
most favorable economic conditions for its successful applica- 

It is a system of management whereby reproduction is 
secured by means of a systematic progression of thinnings. 
It is applicable only to even-aged, tolerant species that are 

At first the shelterwood system involved the use of only 
two general thinnings or openings in the stand to secure 
reproduction. The following three are now used when the 
system is intensively applied: 



Kyi &• 


; ir 11*3 ■ ** 

* fall* 



Jf1-M J 



Fig. 15. — Reproduction of Norway Spruce and Silver Fir. 
vlllengen, black forest, germany. 
The sheltenvood system is successfully used with natural reproduction here. 
This shows the condition of the forest after the reproduction cutting. 

i. Preparatory Cuttings. These are begun during the 
middle of the rotation and open up the stand, by the removal 
of a few trees (from 15 to 35 per cent), to prepare the soil for 
the germination of the seeds, to stimulate seed production by 
giving more light to the intended parent trees, and to accus- 
tom the remaining trees to more or less isolation and give 
greater windfirmness. If the stand is dense, this thinning 
should be made much heavier than in a thin or open stand. 

2. Seed Cuttings. This consists of one or more thinnings a 
few years later that open the stand still farther and is usu- 
ally done just before or during a seed year. This removes 
from 30 to 60 per cent of the remaining trees and has as its 

7 8 


object the opening of the stand so that the young reproduc- 
tion resulting from this seed year may develop in the spaces 
and light made by the thinnings. 

3. Removal Cuttings. This may also be done in one or 
several gradual cuttings which open up the stand still farther 

Fig. 16. — A Rough Application of the Shelterwood System in the 

Black Hills, South Dakota. 
Most of the stand of western yellow pine has been removed. When satis- 
factory reproduction has been established, the remaining trees will be cut. 

and finally remove all the remaining old trees. By this time 
the reproduction that will form the next rotation is well under 
way and needs all the light possible for full development. 


These three groups of thinnings or cuttings may be carried 
on over the whole stand periodically or may be developed 
gradually over the forest by means of strips or groups. 

The shelterwood system is used in a very crude way in the 
Black Hills with western yellow pine; with eastern red spruce; 
lodgepole pine and with longleaf pine. 

The advantages of the system are as follows: 

1. The progressive thinnings leave a large number of seed 
trees evenly distributed. 

2. It does a with most of the disadvantages of the clear 
cutting sys oil and reproduction are not ex- 
posed in a 

3. TL*. k ce of the final 
cutting and the liii ri h to 
both young and old trees. 

4. The system may be used witn 1 

5. Trees not desired in the new stand can t 
the preparatory cuttings. 

The disadvantages are as follows: 

1 . It requires considerable skill and the best possible market 
conditions in order to profitably dispose of the product of the 
thinnings and final cuttings. 

2. Logging is very expensive as the forest is worked over 
so many times in cutting off the trees. 

3. Reproduction is exposed to serious injury both in falling 
the trees, in thinnings and in removing them from the forest 
along skid ways and roads. 

4. It cannot be used where there is danger from windfall 
or with intolerant species. 

Coppice or Sprout System. — This is the simplest method 
of securing natural reproduction. On account of the excel- 
lent sprouting capacity of most of our hardwoods, the forest 


may be reproduced by merely cutting off the trees at ma- 
turity. This system has been used in parts of New Jersey, 
Pennsylvania, Connecticut and southern New York to sup- 
ply some of the smaller products of the forest, such as cord- 
wood, poles, posts, ties and mine timbers for many years. 
The old stumps, however, deteriorate after a certain number 
of rotations and^the forest must be renewed from time to 
time from seed. This has already happened in some parts 
of the East. In Europe there is a growing sentiment in favor 
of the increased use of seedlings in sprout forests. In fact, 
even in the first rotation of management under this system, 
most hardwoods lose their maximum sprouting vigor after a 
certain age. This limit is about 25 years with nearly every 
species, except chestnut which apparently retains this power 
for a much longer time. Vigorous chestnut trees have been 
produced from stumps 120 years of age. Some trees fail to 
sprout after 40 to 60 years of age. In Europe sprout forests 
are often cut on rotations of 10 to 20 years to produce fuel 

There are certain rules which should be observed in cutting 
trees to obtain the best sprouts as follows: 

1. Trees should 'be cut between October 1 and April 1, 
during the period of vegetative inactivity. In the spring, the 
new shoot will often grow up to a height of 8 to 10 feet. If 
cut in the summer, sprouts are still weak when winter comes 
and are likely to be winter killed or seriously injured by the 

2. Stumps should be cut low in order to make the sprouts 
as vigorous as possible. Decaying stumps often infect or in- 
terfere with the growth of the new tree. More valuable 
wood can also be secured by cutting low stumps. 

3. Stumps should be cut smoothly and sloping so that 
water will run off and the danger from insects and fungi 


decreased. The bark should also be left intact for the same 

4. A given area should be cut clean in order to give the 
greatest amount of light to the young trees, and brush should 
be piled away from the stumps. 

Variations in sprout management in leaving certain sprouts 
and seedlings over for a second rotation are sometimes used 
especially to rejuvenate the stand by increasing the number 
of trees from seedling origin. When this is not successful, 
planting must be resorted to. 

The region of best sprouting in this country is along the 
Atlantic coast, east of the Appalachian chain of moun- 
tains, from Maryland north to Massachusetts. The best tree 
for sprout management is undoubtedly chestnut on account 
of its sprouting capacity, rapid growth and the excellent 
quality of its wood. Unfortunately the bark disease may 
eliminate it from future management. Other important trees 
that sprout to advantage are the oaks, hickory, basswood, 
yellow poplar, red maple and white ash. 

Combination of Silvicultural Systems. 

It is seldom that the silvicultural systems, depending on 
natural reproduction from seed, described above, are followed 
out in this country according to theoretical principles. Very 
often local conditions, such as markets, topography, type of 
timber, etc., make many changes necessary. Frequently 
combinations of various systems are employed. Natural re- 
production is often assisted by planting young trees or 
direct seeding to fill in the open spaces where the expected 
reproduction has not seeded in naturally. In Europe, in 
fact, planting is resorted to in the majority of cases where 
clear cutting is used. 


Factors Governing the Choice of Species for Management. 

In choosing the proper trees to favor in the management of 
any forest tract, there are several considerations which must 
be kept in mind. These factors are: 

i. The most important is rapidity of growth. A certain 
tree may yield a wood of high technical qualities but if it re- 
quires 200 or 3'oo years to reach merchantable size this will 
discredit it. Some of our redwoods are three thousand years 
old. Longieaf pine and southern cypress, although produc- 
ing excellent woods, are too slow in growth. Chestnut, red 
oak, Douglas fir and white pine are rapid growers. 

2. Quality of wood is apparently very important. If two 
trees of equal rapidity of growth are of unequal demand on 
the market, the better one should be favored. 

3. Reproductive ability is important. A thrifty and easy 
seeder should be preferred to a tree of infrequent seed years, 
low per cent of germination and one whose seed is distributed 
with difficulty. Some trees are also planted much easier 
than others on account of their small root system. 

4. Silvicultural value is also a consideration. Some trees 
help the growth of others in association with them and im- 
prove the quality of the soil. Beech, for example, is some- 
times called the " mother of forests." 

5. Freedom from injury by wind or attack by insects and 
fungi. In some localities the borer attacks the black locust 
so seriously that this species cannot be encouraged with 
safety. The example of the chestnut blight is also self-evident. 

6. Suitability to the local market is important. For in- 
stance where mine timbers or cooperage stock or any other 
special forest product offers a good market, it may be ad- 
visable to grow trees that will be most suitable for this 


Altogether some of our best native trees for encouragement 
in American silvicultural practice, based on the above con- 
siderations, are white pine, Norway pine, Douglas fir, lob- 
lolly pine, shortleaf pine, western white pine, western yellow 
pine, sugar pine, chestnut, red oak, basswood, yellow poplar, 
white ash and cottonwood. Some of the best exotic species 
for use in this country are Scotch pine, Norway spruce, 
European larch and eucalyptus. 


Graves, H. S. Principles of Handling Woodlands. John Wiley and Sons, 

New York City. Pages 1-188. 
Graves, H. S. The Selection System. Proc. Soc. of Am. Foresters. Vol. 

V, Xo. 1, 1910. 
Graves, H. S. Condition of American Silviculture. Proc. Soc. of Am. 

Foresters. Vol. 3, No. 1, 1908. 
Hawley and Hawes. Forestry in New England. John Wiley and Sons, 

New York City. Pages 17-36. 
Moore, S. L. Regulating the Cut of the National Forests. Proc. Soc. Am. 

Foresters. Vol. V, No. 1, 19 10. 
Schlich. Manual of Forestry. Vol. II, Siliviculture. Bradley, Agnew, and 

Co., London. Pages 93-119. 



Reasons for Improvement Work. 

While nature unassisted provides splendid stands of timber 
after a lapse of centuries, economic forestry requires maxi- 
mum production of timber in the least possible time and with 
minimum expense. Consequently, all measures should be 
taken that will improve the quality of timber, shorten the 
rotation and diminish the necessary charges, considering the 
forest soil and crop as an investment. With these ends in 
view, certain improvement work is imperative under aver- 
age conditions, since the expenditure of a little money will 
often prove a splendid investment, by largely increasing the 
returns. The removal of undesirable species and weaklings 
with consequent diminution of competition, results in increas- 
ing the volume growth and vastly increasing the quality and 

Kinds of Improvement Work. 

Cuttings made in immature stands of timber for the purpose 
of accelerating growth, diminishing competition, or improving 
the mixture, are of prime importance. The starting of new 
growth is not aimed at primarily in making these cuttings, 
although a heavy thinning in a forest old enough to produce 
seed may often result in a dense stand of seedlings beneath. 

Improvement cuttings may be classified under four heads: 

i. Cleanings; 

2. Liberation Cuttings; 

3. Thinnings; 

4. Damage Cuttings. 



Cleanings. — A cleaning is a cutting made in a very young 
stand to improve the mixture and reduce competition. Such 
an operation hardly ever yields a profit, but ordinarily re- 
quires the expenditure of from 50c. to $2.50 per acre. 
Therefore, a cleaning is warranted only under conditions 
where intensive forestry may be practised. 

Cleanings are needed where desirable species are being 
badly crowded or suppressed by fast-growing forest weeds, 
and the object is to keep the desired species in the mixture by 
cutting back the weeds and releasing the slower-growing 
seedlings which will ultimately yield timber of higher technical 
value. Such a condition is often found in the young sprout 
stands where species like basswood, ash, red oak, etc., are 
being rapidly choked out by such strong sprouting species 
as black oak, aspen, maple, etc. In such circumstances, a 
few hours' work per acre may result in a vastly improved 
stand of timber. The seedlings in each case are favored at 
the expense of the sprouts. 

In many New England pastures which have seeded in to 
gray birch, pine or spruce often come in under the nurse trees. 
As the stand grows older, the injurious effects of the birch 
become more and more apparent. At the beginning, the light 
shade was an advantage in preventing the drying out of the 
soil, but as time passes, the top shoots of the pine and spruce 
become enmeshed in the branches of the birch, and it is very 
common to have the leaders and side branches of the conifers 
badly damaged by the whipping action of the birch. This 
whipping action may be so marked that large holes will sur- 
round each birch in a dense stand of pine. In such cir- 
cumstances, a cleaning during the early life of the mixture 
would have improved the stand and greatly reduced this 

Cleanings are also required where a plantation has been 


made under dense ground cover, such as a stand of sumach, 
or scrub oak. In the scrub-oak country of Pennsylvania, or 
Long Island, where the ground is practically in possession of 
this tree, it would be necessary to clean the land before 
planting, and then carefully watch the plantations to see that 
the seedlings were not crowded out. A brush hook or light 
axe is the best tool for cleanings, although in young sprout 
stands, shears may work well. In some cases, the expense may 
be decreased by hacking off the top of the undesirable speci- 
mens rather than cutting them off flush with the ground. 

Cleanings should be made in young stands as soon as the 
crowding effects are noticed. Usually, in a mixed stand, this 
will occur during the first ten years. If economic conditions 
warrant it, a light cleaning should be made which can be 
repeated within five years. 

The most important point regarding cleanings is to decide 
whether or not conditions will justify the expenditure, and how 
much should be taken out. When it is realized that in a stand 
of young sprouts and seedlings, the investment of $2.00 per 
acre may free 300 desirable seedlings five years old, and that 
this number will more than fully stock the stand at maturity, 
it may be seen that cleanings are often highly profitable. 

Liberation Cuttings. — Where an abandoned pasture has 
seeded in, it is quite common to find occasional large trees 
scattered among the young seedlings forming the majority of 
the stand. As the seedlings develop, the shade cast by the 
advance growth becomes more injurious, and the young tree 
may be throttled by the larger trees, which accounts for the 
name " wolf tree," coined by the German foresters. In 
addition, the excessive root competition of these large spread- 
ing trees often makes profitable growth of young seedlings 
impossible within a wide radius. In such circumstances, the 
removal of this advance growth is necessary, in order that 


a full stand of straight, desirable saplings should result. Con- 
trary to cleaningSj liberation euttings maybe quite profitable, 
since large trees are removed, and, consequently, good timber 
may be obtained. The quality, however, is often poor on 
account of many knots, and the scattered trees make logging 
costly. A liberation cutting should at least pay expenses. 

The trees removed are, for the most part, much older than 
the seedlings which they are damaging, and this difference in 
age constitutes a distinguishing feature. For this reason, 
less skill is required in selecting the individuals to be cut, and 
liberation cuttings may, as a rule, be carried on independently 
of other cultural operations. 

Thinnings. By thinning is meant the removal of indi- 
viduals in an immature stand too dense for rapid growth, 
in order to diminish competition for light, food and moisture. 
The fastest-growing individuals of the best form are favored 
and dissipation of growing energy prevented. The result of 
a thinning is to greatly shorten the struggle for existence, and, 
by focusing all the growing energy that the site affords upon 
a few selected individuals, much greater volume growth is 
obtained, and the quality increment is much higher. 

Reasons for Thinnings. 

With increasing age, each tree in the stand demands more 
room both for crown and roots, which results in excessive 
competition for light and plant food. Under nature's regime, 
this struggle is prolonged and the trees which have been 
leaders from the beginning gradually surpass their slower- 
growing neighbors and eventually appropriate the space 
which they once occupied. Close planting or a dense stand 
is necessary for a time in order to cause natural pruning, and 
indeed, the German foresters insist upon it in order that the 
early growth shall not be too fast, and, therefore, sacrifice 



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Fig. 17. — White Pine Stand after Thinning — Keene Co., 
New Hampshire. 

By reducing the number of stems per acre, excessive competition is reduced 
and the wood produced is laid on the trunks of the more desirable specimens. 


strength. After a few years, however, (ranging from fifteen 
to twenty-five, depending on the species and site), inter- 
ference in the form of a thinning is advisable. Even the 
dominant trees do not grow at their maximum rate, and by 
relieving the desirable trees from excessive competition, the 
growth rate is vastly increased. 

Results of Thinning. 

Improvement cuttings in immature stands have the follow- 
ing beneficial results: 

1. They tend to greatly shorten the rotation. 

Whereas a stand of sprout chestnut will ordinarily yield a 
tree ten inches in diameter in forty years if untouched, the 
same forest, properly thinned, will produce a tree the same 
size in about thirty-five years. 

2. A large amount of material is utilized which would 
otherwise decay and be a total loss were the usual struggle 
allowed to proceed. 

By utilizing the young saplings for fuel, posts, bucket stock, 
etc., when they are green, the material can oftentimes be 
profitably sold, whereas if they were allowed to remain, the 
quality would be greatly damaged through insect and fungus 
attacks. The amount of material removed by thinning during 
the life of the stand may constitute from 20 per cent to 60 per 
cent of the final yield and this " intermediate yield," so-called, 
may often determine whether or not the stand itself is prof- 
itable. Indeed, in the Duchy of Baden, extremely heavy 
thinnings are advocated, to reduce the amount of forest 
capital invested, as a means of increasing the financial profits. 
The intermediate yield, in this case, is necessary, not because 
of silvicultural requirements, but because too much timber 
capital is involved. 

3. The removal of the competing trees does not decrease 


the final yield, on the contrary, it is increased, considering the 
increased growth rate. The quality also is greatly improved. 

4. By discriminating against undesirable species, the stand 
at maturity will contain the species in the proportion desired. 
This is particularly desirable where natural regeneration is 
practised, as each succeeding rotation requires less cultivation. 

5. In stands which have been consistently thinned, wind- 
throw and breakage from wind are lessened owing to the fact 
that the individual trees have had greater opportunity for 
root and bole development. Consequently, the individual 
trees are much stouter and stronger and are able to resist the 
force of destructive winds. 

Severity of Thinnings. 

Severity of thinnings largely depends on the product 
desired as well as the condition of the stand itself. The danger 
from windfall also may be so excessive that thinnings in older 
stands must be avoided altogether. Ordinarily, even if the 
species is not wind-firm, by thinning early and often, a firm 
root habit may be developed. 

If maximum volume production is desired, heavy thinnings 
are the rule. If timber free from knots and of good technical 
value is aimed at, moderate thinnings should be made at 
frequent intervals. 

The severity of thinnings is measured on the amount of 
timber removed, and the size of the holes made in the canopy. 
It is a safe guide, as a rule, to make no holes in the canopy that 
the trees cannot fill by crown- growth within five years. In 
some cases this is unavoidable, but if too heavy thinnings are 
made, the soil is exposed to the drying effects of sun and wind, 
weeds and grass spring up which exhaust the soil, and instead 
of increasing growth, the growth rate may ultimately show a 
decrease. Thus, too heavy thinnings are apt to defeat the 


end in view. In addition, in the case of hardwoods, increased 
light may cause the sprouting of adventitious buds along the 
trunk, producing a brushy bole, and diminishing the amount 
of clear lumber that may be later obtained. 

The severity of thinnings is graded as follows: (See tree 
classes, Chap. 3). 

Grade A. Light, removing dead or dying trees. 

Grade B. Moderate, removing all suppressed, and in addi- 
tion the lower intermediate trees. 

Grade C. Heavy, removing in addition the remainder of 
the intermediate trees. 

Grade D. Very heavy, removing in addition many of the 
co-dominant trees. 

A heavier thinning than any of the above is called an accre- 
tion cutting. A cutting of this kind is rarely made in American 
forestry practice, although the same end may be gained by 
starting reproduction cuttings (see Chapter 4 under Shel- 
terwood System), rather early and permitting the seed trees 
to profit by the increased light. In some parts of Europe this 
has been carried to extremes, as the highly profitable growth 
made by the seed trees led the foresters in charge to hold them 
over to the injury of the reproduction. 

While no hard and fast rule may be laid down concerning 
thinnings in actual practice, nevertheless, certain methods 
have been found to yield the best results. During the first 
part of the rotation, at least, a " C " thinning is necessary, 
while later, a " D " thinning may be used. 

The French system of thinning is considered quite desirable, 
especially for white pine. According to this method, the trees 
to form the final crop are selected, and all trees in any way 
interfering with the selected specimens are removed, regardless 
of tree class. The remainder of the stand is untouched, except 


that dead and dying trees are removed. By selecting 150 to 
250 stems per acre and favoring them, bigger and better trees 
can be produced and the soil is protected by retaining the 
intermediate growth. 

Another system of thinning, Borggreve's method, is some- 
times used in Europe, which is almost opposite in principle 
to the preceding. According to this plan, the largest trees 
are cut, and the dead and suppressed trees besides, leaving the 
co-dominant trees to furnish the final crop. This has many 
drawbacks, since large holes are made in the canopy and the 
trees which are left cannot always recover from earlier sup- 
pression, and, consequently, the growth rate does not show the 
pronounced increase desired. 

In American forestry practice, the " C " grade of thinning, 
after the French fashion, has the widest use, and will ordinarily 
give the best results. 

Damage Cuttings. — It is a decidedly unusual forest that is 
not visited from time to time by one or more destructive 
agencies. The western yellow pine of the West has been hard 
hit by the beetle at various times; the larch saw-fly has in- 
flicted heavy damage upon the tamarack of northern New 
York, and the Lake States, from time to time. Following the 
visit of any destructive agency, whether insect, fire, fungus 
disease or wind, it is only good management to remove the 
injured material before it is a total loss. In addition, if either 
insects or fungus disease are the destructive agencies, the re- 
moval of dead material may assist in checking the ravages. 
This was clearly proven by the splendid results attending the 
bark burning campaign carried on by the Government in its 
warfare on the Black Hills beetle. Such a cutting, of course, 
is largely for salvage, and the question of keeping the canopy 
intact cannot be considered. Large holes are often made in 
the canopy which nothing but underplanting will repair. 



When the trees in a stand were too widely spaced in 
youth to have pruned themselves naturally, artificial prun- 
ing is sometimes advisable. However, it is an extremely in- 
tensive procedure, and, for the most part, should be classed 
as an aesthetic, rather than an economic, measure. If young 
reproduction is interfered with, a careful pruning may produce 
excellent results at a trifling cost in comparison with planting. 

Artificial pruning in the United States is largely confined to 
the removal of dead branches for a distance equal to one log 
length up the tree. Schenck's plan of cutting off green 
branches, leaving a stub six to eight inches long, and two or 
three years later knocking these stubs off with the poll of the 
axe has some points in its favor. Ordinarily, pruning of green 
branches is not favorably regarded, since the open wound 
permits the entrance of fungi, and in addition it is claimed 
that it causes loose knots. 

White pine in pure stands often fails to clean itself properly. 
Its value as clear lumber is much higher than when knotty. 
In such circumstances trie expenditure of $2.00 to $3.00 
per acre in pruning one hundred of the best trees would be a 
sound investment that would ultimately yield splendid returns. 

The regulation pruning tools are used, and for good-sized 
limbs a long-handled saw will prove most effective. In every 
case a clean cut should be left that will soon heal over. 

Pruning in the United States can be done for two to three 
cents per tree, where only the lower limbs are taken off. In 
Germany, where all dead limbs, and green branches up to 
three inches in diameter are sometimes removed, pruning 
costs about six cents per stem. The per acre cost is kept 
down by confining the operation to those trees that will be 
harvested last, otherwise the cost would be prohibitive. 










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Economic Considerations. 

While there is some objection to thinnings and improvement 
work, as unnecessary and unnatural measures, nevertheless, 
continental experience has proven that they are well worth 
while. It is true that the removal of trees from an immature 
stand causes a certain amount of damage to the remaining 
trees, but that is trivial in comparison with the retarded 
growth and misshapen boles that would result were thinnings 
not made. 

In shallow-rooted species, thinnings may be impossible, but 
by beginning early and cutting judiciously, it is nearly always 
possible to remove some of the least desirable specimens. 

Therefore, the question is not whether thinnings, cleanings, 
etc., are advisable, but whether the desires and financial status 
of the owner will warrant such an expenditure, and whether 
the increased value of the product will pay for the present 

The general statement may be made regarding American 
forestry conditions, that under ordinary circumstances im- 
provement work should be postponed until the material is 
at least large enough to pay the expenses of removal. If the 
circumstances of the owner, and market conditions warrant 
a slight outlay, it should be made for the benefit of the future 

Any system of forest management necessitates a certain 
amount of sacrifice, even if profits are simply deferred, but 
to convince thinking men, the future returns should be 

The cost of improvement work, on the whole, is not ex- 
cessive, and while thinnings for instance, may increase the 
cost of cordwood from ten to twenty per cent, over extensive 
methods, the investment on the whole, is worth making. 



Cook, H. O. Improvement Thinnings in Massachusetts Woodlands. Pub- 
lished by Massachusetts State Forester. 

Graves, Henry S. Principles of Handling Woodlands. John Wiley & Sons, 
New York. 

Hawley, R. C. Treatment of Hardwood Lands in Southwestern Connecticut. 
Forestry Quarterly, Volume V, page 283. 

Hawley and Hawes. Forestry in New England. John Wiley and Sons, 
New York City. 

Nisbet, John. Studies in Forestry. 

Schlich, Sir William. Manual of Silviculture. Volume II. 




In certain circumstances it may be necessary to start 
forests artificially, and where seed trees of the desired species 
are absent or it is desired to get a forest of a given mixture 
started at once, planting may be resorted to with good results. 

The first mention of forest planting is made early in the 
thirteenth century when the cities of Nuremburg and Frank- 
fort, Germany, attempted artificial regeneration. These 
results were more or less experimental and it was not until the 
beginning of the eighteenth century that forest planting was 
practiced on any large scale. Wildlings were used at first, 
which in turn gave way to artificially propagated seedlings, and 
in 1840 the use of transplants became quite general in German 
forest practice. 

In the early history of the forestry movement in the United 
States, forest planting occupied quite a prominent position, 
but since the chief reason for most of the planting was to 
acquire land under the Timber Culture Act, short-lived species 
which made a quick showing were largely used, so that these 
plantations did not long endure. 

From one point of view, extensive reforestation in the 
United States seems unnecessary, when half-grown timber may 
be bought in different parts of the country at a price less than 
the cost of planting. But, in view of the vanishing timber 
supply, the idle land, and water storage problems, reforesta- 
tion on a large scale appears to be the only solution. 


9 8 


The planting of timber trees has great possibilities in the 
prairie states, where fence posts, building material, etc., are 
valuable, and where the indirect influence of windbreaks is 
also of great importance.. In regions where large areas of 
second quality land are to be found in close proximity to good 
markets, forest planting promises to yield good results. For 
instance, there are thousands of acres in Massachusetts, 

Fig. 19. — Site Selected for Experiment in Field Sowing — Lolo 
National Forest, Montana. 

It is planned to reforest 20,000 acres annually for the next 10 years by 
planting seedlings and direct seeding together wherever the latter method is 

Connecticut and New York, which could be planted with forest 
trees to good advantage, and raw material could be produced 
close to desirable markets. 

The advantages of reforestation can be briefly expressed as 


1. As an economic measure, forest trees should be planted 
only on land too poor for agricultural purposes. This will 
bring land into use that would otherwise lie idle. 

2. Planting will tend to raise the quality of timber that 
is produced. Our forest lands have suffered in the past from 
neglect, and have produced weeds rather than desirable timber 
trees. With more intensive management, much better mate- 
rial will be produced. 

3. The experience of European foresters indicates that 
with the rise in stumpage that will inevitably occur, forest 
planting must yield a higher return than we anticipate now, 
and aside from making idle land yield, forest planting is really 
a splendid financial investment. 

There are certain drawbacks, however, to the situation. 
Fire, of course, is apt to wipe out a plantation in a short time, 
fungus diseases, drought, etc., may also render such an in- 
vestment precarious. Finally, excessive taxation might 
seriously disturb the estimated returns. The latter objection, 
however, is rapidly disappearing before the enlightened legis- 
lation which the different states are now enacting. None of 
the drawbacks are serious enough to deter any owner of idle 

Status of Forest Planting. 

Abroad. — Practically all the foreign nations are planting 
at the present time. France in controlling her mountain 
torrents has restored more than a million and one-half acres 
to forest cover. Switzerland, up to the beginning of the 
twentieth century had reforested over 16,000 acres. Russia, 
with its vast areas of virgin forests has planted extensively, 
and in Germany, the Prussian foresters alone are planting on 
an average of 50,000 acres a year. In the Karst region on 
the shores of the Adriatic, Austria-Hungary is planting to 


restore forest cover to an area laid desolate by excessive 
cuttings and fire. 

In the United States. — Planting was started in the United 
States in 1893 and is now being extended as fast as material 
and funds will permit. At the present time extensive experi- 
ments are being carried on along lines of direct seeding. 
Small nurseries are connected with many of the ranger stations 
in addition to the large nurseries operated by the Forest 
Service, and the use of seedlings and transplants is on the 
increase. Besides the actual planting operations, the germina- 
tion of seeds and the heredity of the various species have been 
tested, and the success of various methods of direct seeding 
has been proven. 

Of all the states engaged in reforestation, New York takes 
the lead, closely followed by Massachusetts. New York at 
the present time has nine large nurseries with an output of 
about eight million trees per annum. In Massachusetts, the 
unique system of planting land loaned to the state for a period 
of years has been put into effect. The original owner can 
reacquire this land by paying the cost of operation within ten 
years. Various railroads, water companies, and paper com- 
panies are practicing reforestation on an economic basis, since 
they realize that any corporation permanent in its organiza- 
tion and owning large areas of land can practice forestry 
effectively and profitably, and, at the same time, provide for 
a future supply of raw material. 

Private planting has always been practiced in the United 
States by individuals, with great success, and large plantations 
up to 300 to 400 acres are often established by land owners 
interested in forestry. Individual enterprise for forestry 
planting is apt to be checked by the thought of the length of 
time to elapse before harvesting the crop, but with a corpora- 
tion or state, this argument has no weight. However, in 


certain sections of the country, individuals are planting forests 
with an idea of raising material on a short rotation that will 
beautify and enhance the value of their land, and at the same 
time yield a good income on the investment. 

Seed Collection and Storage. 

The seed is the resting stage of plant development, and is 
produced after several seasons of favorable climatic conditions. 
Some seed may be produced every year, but the abundant 
production occurs at intervals. Most seeds take but one year 
to mature, if proper fertilization is given, but black oaks and 
the pines take two years, and the junipers may take one, two, 
or three. 

Most seeds ripen in the fall, but willows, poplars, elms and 
soft maples ripen in the early spring, and must be gathered 
at once. In nature, the seeds are disseminated in a variety 
of ways. Some are provided with wings to aid their trans- 
portation by the air, others are contained in a fleck of down, 
which enables them to be carried long distances. Some are 
berry-like in form and depend on the birds for distribution, 
while still others depend on gravity. 

The time to gather seed depends on the time the seed or the 
fruit matures. It should be gathered as soon as it is ripe, but 
before nature starts to scatter it. If seeds are wind-sown, they 
should preferably be picked from the tree, but sometimes 
such seed as elm, maple and ash may be picked from the 
ground in large quantities. With conifers the cones are either 
pulled off with rakes, or if a lumbering operation is available, 
the cones may be picked from the fallen trees. 

Trees in middle life produce the best seed, also those that 
have had good light in youth. 

Cost of Collection. — The cost of seed collection varies 
greatly with the species, the season, and the methods used. 





















































































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Spruce seed during good seasons may be gathered on a logging 
or lumbering job at a cost of 30 cents a bushel for the cones, 
or 47J cents a pound for the seed itself. From this figure, the 
price ma}' range up to a dollar or more a pound for collections 
under more adverse conditions. The locality in which seeds 
are gathered has considerable bearing on the future seedlings, 
as seedlings collected in a southern climate are apt to prove 
very weak if set out in a colder region. Black walnuts 
gathered in Missouri, for instance, were killed by spring frosts 
in Minnesota, when those grown from local seed came through 
the season unscathed. 

Storage of Seed. — While nature plants seeds practically 
as soon as they are mature, it is a better plan to keep the seed 
or fruit over the winter and plant it when the weather condi- 
tions are more advantageous. The seed of species like elm, 
maple, poplar and willow are hard to keep, however, and 
ordinarily must be planted at once. Seeds that usually keep 
over winter must be stored dry, while those that dry out 
must be given additional moisture, and enclosed in air-tight 
receptacles. Most fleshy fruits require stratification, which 
consists of laying alternate layers of fruit or seed and moist 
sand in a box and burying it on a hillside, where drainage is 
good. Small seed like ash, for instance, which tends to " lie 
over " unless forced, could be stored between layers of cheese- 
cloth covered with sand, and when planted will ordinarily 
germinate immediately. Commercial houses rarely practice 
stratification, because they have storehouses where moisture 
conditions are kept uniform. Nuts and acorns may be kept 
in bins, while small seeds can be kept to advantage in large 
glass bottles or carboys. Whatever form of storage is used, 
care should be taken that rodents can not reach the seed. 

Seed Extraction. — At the present time, the extraction of 
seed from cones is carried on with considerable skill by seed 


companies in the United States, and the Federal Forest 
Service has recently commenced to gather and extract conif- 
erous seed on a considerable scale. In the National Forests, 
cones are often gathered in inaccessible places and are 
carried to an extracting station in large bags or canvas cloths. 
They are spread out on canvas in thin layers and exposed 
to the full sunlight to hasten drying. From time to time, the 
cones are stirred, and are covered during the damp weather 
and at night. As the cone scales open under the drying 
influence of the sun, the seed falls out upon the canvas sheets. 
A large amount of the seed falls out naturally in this way, but 
as a final resort, the open cones are put in a churn, made from 
a rectangular box with slatted sides, and turned until all the 
seed is threshed out. The seed is then cleaned by crushing 
the wings against a sieve, and after the chaff has been removed 
by winnowing, it is packed in small bags for transportation. 

The method adopted in commercial seed-extracting estab- 
lishments is the same as the above in principle. The cones 
at such plants, however, are ordinarily allowed to dry outside 
for a few days before exposing them to artificial heat. In the 
drying room the temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit will 
cause the cones to open in a few hours, and from this on it is 
merely a question of threshing the seed and removing the 
wings and chaff. 

German seed-extracting establishments lay great stress 
upon the fact that the seed must not be injured during the 
process, as if the seed coats are cracked in any way, fungus 
spores can find entrance, or the cotyledon will be acted upon 
first in germination, which will make the seedling practically 
useless for planting. While extracted seed can be kept over 
until the next season with little loss, cones cannot be so 
retained, as the seed will rapidly deteriorate owing to the 
moisture present within the cone. 


Commercial seed houses ordinarily test their seed from 
time to time, and the results are carefully recorded for each 
batch of cones. This serves as a check on the quality of the 
cones and on the technique of the extraction. Seeds are 
tested by being placed on plots of sand or moist blotting paper 
and exposing them to uniform heat and moisture conditions. 

Direct Seeding. 

There are two general methods of planting seed directly 
in the field: broadcast, and partial seeding. 

In broadcast seeding all parts of the area receive the same 
amount of seed; but for this method to be successful, the soil 
must not only be good, but it must have the faculty of retain- 
ing moisture in the superficial layers long enough to induce 
germination. If the downward growth of the root can keep 
ahead of the drying out of the soil, broadcast seeding will 
ordinarily result successfully. Some preparation of the soil 
is necessary, as a rule, since it is practically useless to sow seeds 
broadcast on a thick sod or on ground densely covered with 
weeds. In open woods with loose soil, broadcast seeding may 
be advantageous if seed can be cheaply procured. 

The Federal Government has had some success in the Black 
Hills with broadcast seeding on burned-over lands, but there 
it has been found, however, that aside from conditions of soil 
and season, the presence of rodents has a very important 
bearing upon the outcome. From the experience gained in 
that region, it is believed that squirrels, field mice, etc., must 
be poisoned off before broadcast seeding is attempted, other- 
wise it will prove a failure. 

To get a thick stand of seedlings in eight or ten years, a 
large amount of seed is required, and unless very cheap seed is 
available, planting is apt to be more economical and certain 
than broadcast seeding. In broadcast seeding experiments 


conducted in North Carolina, the following amount of seed 
per acre was found necessary: Ash 40 pounds, maple 40 
pounds, white pine 12 pounds, spruce and larch 10 pounds, 
yellow pine 8 pounds. Even at a cost of 50 cents a pound for 
seed, it will be seen that broadcast seeding is doubtful economy, 
and, as a rule, there will be a closer and more uniform stand 
if seedlings are used. 

In partial seeding, the seed is not uniformly scattered, and, 
on the whole, is much better than broadcast seeding, on account 
of the decreased cost. Partial seeding has some advantages 
over the preceding method. Less seed is used and, therefore, 
only the best places are selected for seeding, and the balance 
left untouched. This means better covering of the seed, with 
greater chances of success. Partial seeding may be practiced 
either as strip seeding or spot seeding In the strip method, 
the seeds are sown on strips of cultivated or broken soil, with 
untouched rows alternating. If weeds or sod are present, the 
strip of cultivated soil varies in width depending upon the in- 
tensiveness of the operation and the character of the ground. 
In ordinary circumstances, the cultivated strip will be one- 
eighth of the untouched portion. 

This method has been used somewhat in the past and 
several cases are on record in New England where pine cones 
were planted in furrows, giving a decidedly dense stand. 

Seeding in spots is the most common method of direct 
seeding employed. The seed spots vary in size from four 
inches square to thirty square feet, depending on the size of 
the seed sown, on the condition of the soil, and on the kind 
of ground cover. Direct seeding of this kind can be used in 
places where a plow cannot run, and where the woods are open 
only in spots. The ordinary practice is to scratch the surface 
of the soil for about three inches square, and if spaced six 
feet apart, there will be 12 10 seed spots to the acre. When 
sowing on heavy sod, it is customary to remove it and after 



Fig. 21. — Forest Officers Planting Trees on a Burned-over 
Watershed, Pike National Forest, Colorado. 
A planting crew of 2 men can plant from 800 to 1200 seedlings per day, de- 
pending on the soil, ground cover, and slope. 



working up the soil, place the seed on the loose dirt, and cover 
it lightly. Field planting by means of the spot method in 
Massachusetts and New Hampshire has given fair results, 
although the late spring frosts are apt to heave the young 
seedlings to a marked degree. Under the most favorable con- 
ditions, seed-spot methods may work to advantage, but outside 
of the open woods they are protected from frost with difficulty. 

With tap-rooted hardwoods, however, the planting of the 
seed directly in the fields is desirable, and results are apt to 
be better than when the seedlings are used. In this case also, 
rodents or birds are apt to do considerable damage, so that 
the acorns and nuts should be treated with a heavy coat of 
red lead or other poisonous preparations before planting. 

Results and Costs. — The stand of seedlings obtained by 
direct seeding may vary widely, depending on soil, season, 
presence or absence of rodents, and method of distributing 
seed. As stated above, unless seed is extremely cheap, or 
the use of seedlings made impossible by the size or the accessi- 
bility of the area to be planted, direct seeding is apt to be less 
satisfactory than where stocky seedlings are planted. The 
costs of direct seeding operations, labor and seed taken to- 
gether, are as follows * : 





Simple spots 

Simple spots 

vSimple spots 

Simple spots 

Raked spots 


Corn planter 

Corn planter 

Carefully prepared seed spots. . 

Species and pounds per acre. 

White pine. . . . 
Yellow pine. . . 
Austrian pine. 
White pine. . . . 
Yellow pine. . . 
Austrian pine. 
Douglas fir. . . 
Austrian pine. 
Austrian pine. 
Austrian pine. . . 

Yellow pine 4 

Austrian pine 

10 pounds 

Cost per 


3 96 



Sod removed one foot square and earth carefully worked four to six inches deep, and seed 
then covered lightly. Yellow pine refers to western yellow pine (Pinus ponderosa). 
* J. Murdock, Jr., Forestry Quarterly. 


From the above figures, it will be seen that the range of 
prices is great, depending on the intensity of the operation, as 
well as quantity and cost of the seed used. In the above 
instances, the Austrian pine seed cost but 35 cents per pound, 
this accounting for the comparatively low cost per acre. 

Nursery Practice. 

By all odds, the most widely used method of reforestation 
is that of planting nursery seedlings or transplants on the area 
where forest cover is desired. This method, while apparently 
more expensive, has proven, for the most part,*to be the most 
economical in the end. 

Seed and Transplant Beds. — No point in nursery practice 
is more important than the selection of a desirable site for the 
forest nursery. Not only are good soil and plenty of water 
necessary, but drainage and slope, as well as accessibility, 
should also be kept in mind. 

The soil should be a mellow loam, free from stones, well 
drained and free from weed seeds. The ground should be 
cultivated a year previous in order to free the soil from any 
weeds, and any attempt to raise seedlings on a situation which 
was in sod the year previous is apt to result in a heavy loss, 
owing to the action of the larvae of the May beetle on the roots 
of the young seedlings. 

With the site of the nursery selected, the size will depend 
on the scope of the planting operation; one-half acre will 
produce 145,000 three-year transplants annually. 

If land is available, it is wise to have the nursery large 
enough to permit rotation of crops, so that seedlings, grass, 
and transplant beds may alternate on the same area. The 
beds should be worked up in the spring as soon as the frost is 
out of the ground, and laid out running east and west prefer- 
ably, in order that proper sunlight may be available. Four 



feet is the standard width for beds, and the length may vary 
according to the plot. Four by twelve feet is taken as a 
standard, although modern nurseries have beds up to one 
hundred feet long. Heavy fertilization is the custom, and two 
barrels of rotted leaves and the same amount of well-rotted 
manure to fifty square feet of ground is the ordinary applica- 
tion. The ground is well mixed with the manure and the 
mixture should be finely pulverized, before the seed is sown. 

Fig. 22. — Plantation of White (Left) and Scotch Pine (Right) 

Amana, Iowa. 
Artificial pruning has been practised on both species about 10 feet up the 

The beds are ordinarily raised slightly above the ground in 
order to insure good drainage, and the surface of the bed 
should be free from pockets, so that water will not collect in 
the spring. Aside from raising the beds three or four inches 
above the level of the path, it is customary to slightly crown 
the surface of the bed in order to secure better drainage. 

Side braces or frames are largely a matter of convenience. 



The most intensive nursery practice calls for well-built frames 
with netting surrounding each bed, whereas many commercial 
nurserymen merely sink a three-inch board about one inch 
into the ground. In small nurseries, wire screens made of 
three-fourths inch mesh are used to cover the beds, so that the 
birds will not tear the bed to pieces by picking at the husks 
of the seeds. 

Screens of lath, placed so as to make half shade, are 
used to prevent too much light. These are best used in 
lengths of six feet, as one man can handle this size. High 
screens, made of lath or brush, are used sometimes, but with 
high shade advantage cannot be taken of any dull day to 
harden the seedlings, and, on the whole, low shade maintained 
by the use of lath screens fitting directly over the frame is 
considered more desirable. 

After the beds and screens have been prepared, the sowing 
can be started. The amount of seed used for one bed, four by 
twelve feet, is approximately as follows * : 


White pine. . . . 

Red pine 

Scotch pine. . . . 

Pitch pine 

Jack pine 

Norway spruce 
Red spruce. . . . 
White spruce. . 
European larch 




Ounces per 
4'Xi2' bed. 

No. of seed 
per pound. 













Average ger- 
per cent. 


The seed bed is generally moistened thoroughly before 
sowing is started, and the seed is then lightly covered by 

* Forest Service Bulletin 76, C. R. Pettis. 


passing loam through a fine sieve, and then the surface of the 
bed is firmed with pressing with a clean hoe or plank. 

One of the most important points to be observed in nursery 
planting is to secure absolutely sterile dirt to cover the seed. 
" Damping off," a fungous disease attacking the young seedling 
during the first few weeks of its existence, is especially apt 
to be present when the loam of garden soil has been used. 
Consequently, sterile soil secured from three to four feet 
below the surface should be used in covering the seed. The 
beds are then covered w r ith the screens, and burlap or leaves 
may be placed over the surface of the bed to keep the 
ground dark and moist until germination is completed. 

In ordinary circumstances germination will take place in 
fourteen to sixteen days for the conifers. Care should be 
taken not to delay the removal of the burlap or leaf covering, 
otherwise the young seedlings may be entirely smothered. 
The lath shade is kept on continuously during the first sum- 
mer, except during cloudy days, when it may be removed to 
give more light to the seedlings and to prevent the danger of 
" damping off." Drought is also to be guarded against during 
the first season, and any prolonged period of dry weather 
should be supplemented by careful sprinkling. Weeding is 
particularly heavy the first season, especially if the land was 
not well cultivated previously. Weeding and attention during 
the first year costs from 9 cents to 20 cents a thousand. 

At the end of the first year, the cost of seedlings raised on 
a scale of two million will be from 55 cents to 65 cents per 
thousand in the bed ; but overhead charges on a small nursery 
would raise these figures. Weeding is ordinarily discontinued 
about September first, and whatever grass or weeds grow 
afterward are allowed to remain, in order to protect the roots 
of the young seedlings during the winter. The lath screen is 
also removed, late in the fall, to harden the seedling, and, 


as winter sets in, a mulch of weeds should be thrown on top 
of the seed bed or a strip of burlap placed on top of the first 
fall of snow to prevent rapid thawing out during the following 
spring. If the operation has been carefully carried out, there 
should be approximately 200 seedlings per square foot, or 
9000 to 10,000 seedlings for the unit bed. 

In the spring of the second season, the bed can be 
moistened and seedlings can be pricked out, leaving from 75 
to 100 to each square foot. Those that remain will have 
additional room for their development and those removed 
can be put in the transplant row. 

At the beginning of the second season, the bed should be un- 
covered as soon as the frost is out of the ground, and careful 
watch should be kept to avoid heating by retaining the cover 
too long. Attention during the second season is much lighter, 
consisting of a little weeding and an occasional watering. 
The tops, by this time, will form a dense mat which will keep 
the ground moist and will crowd out weeds. At the end of the 
second season no mulch is necessary as the roots are now deep 
enough to prevent heaving. 

Ordinarily, the seedlings do not remain longer than two 
years in the seed bed, and at the beginning of the third season, 
the plants are generally removed and placed in transplant 
rows for better development of their root system. The cost, 
at the end of the second season, is approximately $1.85 per 
thousand in the bed. If shipping is contemplated, thirty to 
forty cents per thousand for digging and packing should be 
added to this cost. 

Planting material should not be too toppy, as the main 
advantage in artificially grown seedlings is the character of 
the root system rather than the size of the tops. Too large 
material is a drawback, being bulky and not able to stand the 
shock of removal; consequently, a year or two in the transplant 


beds is very beneficial. These beds consist of rows twelve to 
fifteen inches apart with the seedlings placed from one and one- 
half to three inches apart in the row. This spacing will permit 
the planting of from 150,000 to 300,000 seedlings per acre, 
and by the use of long beds, weeding with machines can be 
practiced, which will greatly reduce the cost. In some parts 
of the country, the seedlings are allowed to remain but one 
year in the seed bed and then two years in the transplant bed. 
This " 1-2 " seedling, so-called, is quite desirable for certain 
situations. The more common way is to permit the seedling 
to remain two years in the seed bed and either one or two 
years in the transplant bed, making 2-1 or 2-2 transplants. 
The transplanting in rows was first done by hand, but the 
Yale transplanting board, invented by Prof. Tourney of the 
Yale Forest School, has simplified this operation, increased 
the speed remarkably, and greatly reduced the cost. 

Field Planting. 

Reforestation of open country is by far the most common 
form of forest planting, although underplanting is being 
practiced to some extent. The idea of establishing forest 
covers on watersheds, and providing for a future supply of 
timber, are the chief economic reasons for planting, although 
the aesthetic value of forests should not be overlooked. 
Shelterbelts, however, are extremely important in certain 
parts of the country. Investigators claim that, in the states 
of Kansas and Nebraska, where enormous losses are suffered 
by the farmers owing to the hot winds which sweep up from 
the south, twenty per cent of the area could be planted to 
shelterbelts running east and west, and the remaining eighty 
per cent of the land would produce as much in agricultural 
crops as the total does now. In addition the comfort of the 
inhabitants would be vastly increased, and there would be 


considerable incidental revenue derived from the timber pro- 
duction of these forest-covered strips. 

Choice of Stock. — The following points to a large degree 
control the kind of planting stock used : 

1. Soil and Moisture. — The kind of soil and amount of 
moisture practically control the choice of species. Hardwoods 
must have fairly rich and moist situations as a rule. Among 
the conifers, white pine may be used on medium sandy loam, 
but Norway, pitch and western yellow pine, for example, may 
be used on the lightest and sandiest soil. 

2. Climate. — The bearing of climate is very important 
also, for it is almost useless to plant a species outside of its 
geographic range, or in a region of decidedly different climate. 
According to Mayr, zones of like climate are to be found in 
different parts of the world, so that Japanese species may be 
planted successfully for ornamental purposes in the eastern 
part of the United States. On the whole, it is not practicable 
to plant western species in the East, or northern species in 
the South. 

3. The Desire of the Owner. — The ultimate plan of the 
owner should be thoroughly understood, and a sharp line 
should always be drawn between aesthetic and economic 

4. Density of Shade and Amount of Ground Covered. — 
Only tolerant species could be used where there is a dense 
growth of weeds. 

5. Market Demands, Present and Future. — If a plantation 
is to be made from an economic standpoint, the future as 
well as the present market possibilities should be taken into 
consideration. In Massachusetts, the white pine is now and 
probably always will be the most saleable species, owing to the 
box-board industry. In western New York State and in the 
middle west, fast growing, durable species, like black oak, 


chestnut, or catalpa could be used to produce vineyard stakes, 
fence posts, etc. 

6. Resistance to Attacks. — Species should be chosen with 
a special reference to the freedom from diseases which may 
be prevalent in the region. Oaks are particularly subject to 
attack by the gypsy and the brown-tailed moths in Massa- 
chusetts. The chestnut-bark disease may make the planting 
of chestnut very hazardous throughout its whole range, and 
white pine, in certain portions of the East, suffers severely from 
the ravages of the white-pine weevil. As a general recommen- 
dation, it is not safe to decide on the species to be used without 
study of the local conditions. The soil and moisture conditions 
should be noted on the ground, and a careful study of the 
market situations and the desire of the owner made before 
choosing species. 

Age. — Nursery stock is classified as seedlings, either one, 
two, or three years old, generally sold on a basis of size, or 
transplants which have been put in beds one or more times 
to improve the root system. Complete specifications of a 
transplant cover the number of years in the seed bed, the 
number of years in the transplant bed, number of times 
transplanted and the size. For instance, a 2-2 transplant, 
once transplanted, 14 inches tall, would be the nurseryman's 
method of describing stock. The price, of course, is increased 
by the extra handling, and, as a rule, a seedling the same size 
as a transplant is worth about half as much. As a general 
statement, it may be said that the smaller the planting 
material used, the more successful will be the operation, since 
the younger stock can stand the shock of field planting much 
better, can be handled much more easily, and costs consider- 
ably less. 

Transplants, of course, can stand more drought and shade, 
and must be used where these conditions are met. Most 


broadleaf species are put out as one year stock, while conifers 
will average from two to four years of age when finally planted. 
Scotch pine, however, is sometimes planted at one year, but 
one-year coniferous stock is rarely planted successfully in the 
United States. 

Technique of Planting. — On the arrival of the material 
on the planting site, the hampers or baskets containing the 
seedlings are opened and the bundles which are usually packed 
in moist sphagnum moss are taken out, and loosened, the roots 
dipped in a puddle of mud, and then the loose bundle is laid 
on the side of a slooping trench, the earth thrown upon the 
roots and gently firmed. This is done to prevent the fine root 
hairs from being dried out. Plants can be kept for three 
weeks if necessary, provided the situation is shady. The 
tools needed in a planting operation are mattocks or spades 
and water-tight pails. The best results are obtained by 
keeping a layer of soft mud two to three inches thick in the 
bottom of the pail in which the roots are kept moist. The 
planting crew consists of two men as a unit, one using 
the mattock, the other inserting the tree in the hole made 
by the mattock man. Ordinarily, these men can keep fairly 
accurate lines, but if especially straight lines are desired, it 
may be wise to stake the field off or use lines stretched across 
the area. 

The ordinary planting space is six feet apart each way, for 
economic planting, which requires 12 10 trees to the acre. A 
planting crew can cover from two-thirds to one and one- 
fourth acres a day, depending on the size of the plants and the 
character of the soil. 

Shelterbelts. — In certain parts of the West, where hot 
south winds are frequent, the use of windbreaks is strongly 
urged. Aside from greatly increasing the comfort of the 
owner, it has been proven that the beneficial effects of wind- 


breaks upon the growing crops is most marked, and, by correct 
placement they will insure the proper distribution of snow 
and prevent disastrous piling. The force of the winds can be 
greatly checked by planting windbreaks, running east and 
west, at a distance of one-quarter of a mile, or less, apart. The 
gardens or orchards in the lee of the breaks will be consider- 
ably benefitted, the comfort of the family will be greatly in- 
creased, and the incidental returns in the form of fuel, fencing, 
etc., will more than repay the cost. The species giving best 
results for windbreak planting should be quick growing, hardy 
and able to form a dense break. It is extremely difficult to 
find one tree that possesses all of these qualities, so mixtures 
are often resorted to. 

The poplars, either Carolina or Norway, the box elder and 
silver maple are fast growing trees; when planted close, they 
serve well for a few years, on account of their rapid growth. 
To achieve the best results, they should be reinforced by some 
hardier tree like the white elm, Russian wild olive, green ash, 
or white willow. The Russian olive will grow remarkably well 
in poor alkaline soils, but it should be replaced by some of the 
others in better soils. 

Evergreens, of course, make the best windbreaks, but their 
growth at first is decidedly slow, and a nurse tree is often 
necessary. The Norway spruce, white pine, white cedar, the 
western yellow and jack pines, are the most favorable species 
for this use, although the spruce requires rather moist soil as 
a rule. 

The planting distance will range from four feet to eight feet, 
depending on the growth rate and the branching habit of the 
tree. Rather close planting is desirable as the effect is felt at 
once, and as soon as crowding is noticed, alternate trees may 
be cut out. The width of the windbreak is also of importance. 
Trees in a belt as in the forest can protect the ground and 


assist each other far better than two or three rows of trees. 
The breaks rarely exceed two rods in width, as the snow is apt 
to pile in and break down the trees. In some cases, two narrow 
belts of trees may be planted and a small garden planted 
between them. 

Contrary to regular forest planting, cultivation during the 
first few years is practically indispensable, and under certain 
conditions, mulching is quite advantageous. After rapid 
growth has started and the ground is well shaded, the trees 
can take care of themselves. 

Planting Under Cover. — Throughout what might be 
termed the entire sprout hardwood region, countless woodlots 
may be found which have been abused and neglected for many 
years. The desirable species have been removed for lumber, 
and the ground left practically at the mercy of the forest 
weeds. Fires have been permitted to run without hindrance, 
and cattle have been allowed to graze at will, destroying all 
chances of natural regeneration. As a consequence, we find 
thousands of acres, where the mature trees are going to pieces, 
and such reproduction as is present is confined to undesirable 
species. In such cases, planting under cover is an admirable 
solution of the problem of building up the woodlot. Conifers 
are favored, for the most part, because the forests described 
are largely composed of sprouting hardwoods, and a mixed 
forest is a desirable goal at which to aim. However, hard- 
woods of rapid growth and high technical value like ash, 
basswood, red oak, and tulip poplar may be inserted to ad- 
vantage, but, for the most part, spruce and pine as three- or 
four-year-old transplants are the most desirable stock to use. 

The planting operation is practically the same as in open 
field planting, and the makeup of the crew the same; only 
instead of lining up on a stake or landmark, the crew should 
endeavor to pick out likely spots in the stand. Beneath a 



hole in the canopy or where there is a moist bit of soil, or where 
there is any open space on the forest floor is a good place to 
insert the seedlings. Tolerant species like spruce must be 
used if the canopy is comparatively dense, but the transplants 
can be used on lighter soil, provided there is sufficient light 
coming through the cover. Such an operation permits the 
owner to thin out his woodlot later on, and allows a choice 
between hardwoods and softwoods with the idea that a mixed 
forest can be obtained. It is needless to say that after an 
operation of this sort, the woodlot can no longer be used for 

Spacing and Costs. — The ordinary spacing for open 
planting is six feet by six feet, which means 1210 trees to the 
acre. Where trees are to be planted for a short rotation, as 
willow for basket withes, black locust or catalpa for fence 
posts, or poplar for excelsior, closer spacing may be made. 
In Germany, where planting material is cheap and land is 
valuable, the foresters plant intensively, sometimes using as 
high as 5000 seedlings per acre. The following figures will 
give an idea of the number of trees per acre at the different 
spaces : 


No. of trees 
per acre. 


No. of trees 
per acre. 








In under-planting, the number of trees to be used depends 
largely on the condition of the forest canopy and the desire 
of the owner. When the canopy is comparatively dense, with 
but few holes in it, it is useless to plant more than 100 to 200 
per acre, unless a thinning is made previously. If, however, 


the stand is quite open through heavy thinnings or repeated 
fires, 500 to 600 seedlings may be put in to advantage. In 
under-planting, either in the average woodlot or in young 
reproduction, it is possible to take advantage of the sprouts and 
seedlings as side shade, and place the transplants five to six 
feet from an oak or maple sprout, and thus reduce the amount 
of planting material without impairing the result. 

The cost of a planting operation varies widely with the 
density of planting, the size of material used, and the character 
of the soil. If large stock is used, to make an immediate 
showing, the price may be prohibitive to the average owner. 
By using the smallest planting material possible and allowing 
for no preparation of the soil, the average cost per acre for 
open planting, six feet apart, ranges from $7.00 to $10.00 an 
acre. For under-planting, where stockier transplants must be 
used to withstand shade and root completion, the cost of 
planting material is correspondingly higher, but the fewer 
seedlings used reduces the price. Where transplants can be 
obtained at a cost not exceeding $6.00 per thousand, a rough 
estimate of one cent per tree in the ground is safe; that is, 
under-planting with 400 trees per acre will cost approximately 

Yields. — Reforestation is being urged by foresters chiefly 
as an economic proposition, although from an aesthetic point 
of view, planting has its advantages. Unless it can be defi- 
nitely proven, however, that the money invested will yield 
a fair return, forest planting had better be abandoned, or else 
charged up to landscape improvement. While American 
forest practice is not old enough to possess the wealth of 
experience which is available in Germany and France, data are, 
nevertheless, at hand to prove conclusively that plantations can 
yield a fair financial return on the capital invested. Forests, 
however, are a long-time investment, and with fair fire pro- 


tection are quite stable, so that the required interest rate 
should not be put too high. Where estate owners have idle 
land, or in the case of paper concerns desiring continuous 
supplies of pulp wood, etc., reforestation is a highly desirable 
investment, and one worth the attention of shrewd financiers. 
Already, railroads and paper companies in the East have begun 
extensive reforestation to provide them with future supplies 
of ties and pulp wood. Water companies whose drainage areas 
cannot be grazed or fertilized, for fear of contaminating the 
supply, are finding forestry an ideal solution of their land 
problem. Practically any corporation owning land and with 
an assured continuous existence can plant trees for future 
timber supply with profit. 

As intimated above, on account of the stability of a forest 
plantation as an investment, and because of its duration, 
thereby avoiding frequent reinvestments, forests should rank 
as bonds. Therefore, a comparatively low rate, say 3 per cent 
to 3^ per cent is all that should be expected. However, in- 
vestigations have shown that if a plantation of white pine can 
be established at a cost of not more than $15.00 per acre for 
land and planting costs, 5 per cent compound interest is the 
assured return on the investment. This yield, moreover, is 
based on present stumpage value, and the certain rise in the 
price of timber products will cause a remarkable appreciation 
in this rate. The following table shows what may be expected 
from a stand of white pine planted on cheap land at an average 

The final column in the table shows the net profit over 
and above the five per cent rate. For instance, at fifty years, 
based on present stumpage values, such a plantation would 
yield $214.10 more than a five per cent investment. 

The most frequent criticism that is levelled against forest 
planting by the individual is that the investor rarely if ever 



























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reaps the benefit. This, to a large extent, is true, but short 
rotations are possible where fence posts, Christmas trees, etc., 
are raised and in addition, the increasing negotiability of half- 
grown forests is a factor that must be reckoned with. If a 
man does not care to invest in a forest plantation for the bene- 
fit of his children or his estate, he may console himself with the 
thought that aside from the pleasure derived in watching the 
trees grow, the land covered with an embryonic forest will be 
much more saleable than stony fields or scrubby pasture. 

Willow Culture. — The bulk of forest planting in the 
United States is done with the seedling or transplant as the 
stock. These require a considerable outlay in the form of 
nurseries, and the attention required to raise good nursery 
stock brings up the cost to a good figure. 

Certain species can be propagated by simply planting a 
piece of young wood, preferably the last season's growth. 
Species like poplars and willows, are frequently propagated 
this way. The raising of willow for basket ware is quite an 
industry in certain parts of the country. It was introduced 
into New York by German immigrants between 1840 and 
1850, and has since spread to other states. The site best 
suited for a " willow-holt " is a well-drained sandy loam con- 
taining a fair amount of humus. In some regions land subject 
to annual overflow is chosen, since this obviates fertilization. 
The American willow produces a tougher and more durable 
rod, but many European species are used, among which the 
Caspian and Welsh willows have found great favor. 

The sets are planted either in the spring or late fall, after 
the growth has ceased, and are planted in rows fifteen or 
twenty inches apart, and the sets placed from five inches to 
nine inches apart in the row. This takes from 35,000 to 
80,000 cuttings per acre. 

Cultivation of the holt is practically unavoidable if good 


growth is desired. If cultivation is difficult, the weeds may 
be mowed to prevent them from choking out the willows. 
After the stools are established, it is customary to cut the holt 
over annually. As soon as the leaves fall, the harvesting may 
commence and often continues through the winter. After 
cutting the rods are steamed, dried, sorted, and then packed 
for shipment. 

The yield of willows ranges from four to seven tons per acre, 
with the price ranging from $15 to $25 per ton. With suit- 
able land capable of being plowed for the prevention of insect 
and fungus attacks, willow culture is a profitable undertaking, 
and represents one phase of forest planting where returns are 
not long deferred. 


Fetherolf, James M. Forest Planting on the Northern Prairies. U. S. 

Forest Service Circular 45. 
Forestatiox ix the Ixtermouxtaix Regiox. Forestry Quarterly, Volume 

VII, page 127. 
Forest Plaxtixg Leaflets, published by U. S. Forest Service. 
Miller, Fraxk G. Forest Planting in Eastern Nebraska, U. S. Forest Service 

Circular 45. 
Murdock, Johx, Jr. Results of Direct Seeding in the Black Hills, Forestry 

Quarterly, Volume X, page 27. 
Piper, William B. Forest Planting in Northern Michigan. Proceedings 

Society of American Foresters, Volume VII, No. 2. 
Pettis, C. R. How to Grow and Plant Conifers in the Northeastern States, 

U. S. Forest Service, Bulletin 76. 
Report of Fifth Natioxal Coxservatiox Coxgress Forestry Committee, 

entitled, "The Conditions under which Commercial Planting is Desirable." 
Stephex, Johx W. The Basket Willow. Bulletin 3, New York Conservation 

Waldrox, C. B. Windbreaks and Hedges. Bulletin 88, North Dakota 

Experiment Station. 



Forest protection is that part of forestry which deals with 
the protection of timberlands against destructive and inju- 
rious agencies such as fire, insects, fungi, wind, sand dunes 
and other minor influences, such as grazing, frost, sun scald, 
etc. The most important are taken up in some detail. 


Forest Fires. 

Of all the enemies of the forest, fire is the greatest. It is 
one of the most serious drawbacks to the practice of forestry 
in this country in that, under present conditions, it is consid- 
ered a hazardous risk to hold standing timber. Remarkable 
progress, however, is being made, and at the present time 
about one-half of the remaining standing timber is receiving 
at least some attention in the matter of fire protection. 

In placing any forest tract under scientific management, it 
is absolutely necessary to first insure safe protection from fires. 
A good portion of our early American forestry practice will be 
devoted for some time to securing efficient protection of our 
forests against the destructive waste of forest fires. 

It is estimated that in the past the value of standing tim- 
ber destroyed in this country by fire has been equal to that 
actually cut down and used. For the past forty years records 
of the amount of damage by fire show that an average of 
$50,000,000 worth of timber has been destroyed every year 
and that at least 20,000,000 acres of forest land or an area 




nearly four times the size of Massachusetts is burned over 
annually. To express the amount of damage in another way, 
if lires had been prevented on forest lands that are now unpro- 
ductive on account of their destructive work, thirty-two bil- 
lion board feet or four-fifths of the total lumber cut in the 
country could be produced continuously every year on this 


2$. — A Forest Fire on the Angeles National Forest in 

Forest fires have burned up as much timber as has been used in the past. 
Both public and private organizations are adopting measures to prevent and 
control them. 


During unusually dry years the losses from forest fires have 
been enormous, especially in those regions where the timber 
growth is dense and therefore favorable to the spread and 
disastrous effects of fires. For instance, in 1894, the famous 
Hinckley fire in Minnesota burned over an immense tract of 
timber, wiped out nine towns, six hundred people were killed 
and $25,000,000 worth of property was destroyed. In 19 10 
forest fires in northern Idaho and western Montana destroyed 
over $25,000,000 worth of white pine, yellow pine, Douglas 
fir and western larch timber in the short space of scarcely 
three weeks. 

Kinds of Fires. — In general, there are two kinds of forest 
fires: ground and crown fires. The ground fire burns along 
in the grass, leaves or litter on the forest floor, or it may burn 
in the thick duff. In the last-named case it may burn very 
slowly and hold fire for many months, even burning as late 
as in mid-winter in the decayed accumulation of vegetative 
matter, such as leaves, twigs, etc. Ground fires of this class 
are sometimes separated as a distinct kind from the ordi- 
nary surface fire which burns along on the leaves and twigs 
above the vegetable mould. 

Ground fires are especially common in the open grassy pine 
forests of the South and in our hardwood and coniferous 
forests in the North. They do considerable damage in the 
farm woodlots throughout the East. When fanned by a high 
wind and in the presence of sufficient inflammable material, 
such as brush, fallen trees and dense reproduction, a ground 
fire may develop into a crown fire. 

The crown fire is the more serious kind and burns with great 
rapidity through the crowns of the trees often consuming 
everything in its path up to branches three inches in diameter. 
They occur only in dense coniferous stands or where the 
principal growth is of evergreen stock. Most conifers are 



highly resinous, especially in their bark and leaves, therefore 
they arc very inflammable. Fires often run up the resinous 
bark of a tree or through dense underbrush from ground to 
crown fires. Some of these fires have been known to burn at 
the rate of six to ten miles an hour. Under the pressure of a 

Fig. 24. — Brush Burning in Winter on a National Forest. 

By eliminating the brush, the danger from forest fires is greatly decreased. 
Several states now require certain forms of brush disposal on private logging 
operations. It is commonly used on our National Forests in connection with 
timber sales. 

high wind burning brands are often carried ahead of the 
main fire and ignite new fires in advance. It is practically 
impossible to stop the progress of a crown fire in a severe 
wind. Back firing is often resorted to but more often crown 


fires will become ground fires after passing the brow of a hill 
or ridge where it can be stopped by trenching. 

The severity of any forest fire depends upon several factors. 
Perhaps the most important, aside from the character of tree 
growth, is the dryness of the forest itself. After a protracted 
drowth the fire hazard is very great and a small fire is likely 
to develop into a serious one, especially in the late summer. 
Some of our worst fires have occurred in September and 
October and have only been stopped by a heavy rainfall or 
because the continuous forest cover was broken by an open 
plain or agricultural land. 

The character of the topography is also a very influential 
factor. Fires burn with great severity and rapidity up a 
steep slope, because the heat of the fire itself creates a draft 
and tends to intensify the progress of the fire. In burning 
down a slope a forest fire always progresses slowly and burns 
lightly over the ground so that it can be most successfully 
fought and controlled just over the brow of the ridge or at the 
foot of a slope. 

The amount of inflammable material on the ground obvi- 
ously influences the character and severity of the fire. The 
spruce woods of the Adirondacks are very brushy and dense 
and a fire, when once started, burns with great heat and rapid- 
ity. A fire in hardwood leaves is much less severe than in 
pine or spruce needles. The soil is also a factor in fire pro- 
tection. The sandy plains of the east coast and the Lake 
States dry out with great rapidity on account of their porous 
nature, and ground fires are prevalent whenever adequate 
protection is not afforded. In Massachusetts pitch pine, a 
very fire-resistant tree, is often the only tree left after repeated 
fires have burned over the sandy plains. In portions of the 
Northwest the clay and loam soils keep the forest floor in a 
comparatively moist condition and although the forests are 


dense and of coniferous species, it is only in excessively dry 
seasons that flagrant fires are common. 

As outlined in these factors, the regions of this country 
most seriously affected by recurrent forest fires are in the 
coniferous stands of the Northeast, principally in Maine, New 
Hampshire and the Adirondacks; the Lake States, and the 
dense stands of the Northwest covered by Douglas fir, western 
red cedar, western white pine, hemlock and lodgepole pine. 

Grass fires are very common in the southern pine forests, 
in the western yellow pine stands of the Southwest and in 
the sugar pine-yellow pine stands of California. Although 
not resulting directly in the death of whole forests, they do 
considerable and irreparable damage by destroying all repro- 
duction and young growth, and by eating away the base of 
trees until they are blown over by the wind or are attacked 
and ruined by insects or fungi. Even our hardwood stands 
are seriously injured by the disastrous work of forest fires. 
Although pure hardwood forests are never affected by crown 
fires, the common spring and autumn fires in this class of tim- 
ber have done an immense amount of damage. This is espe- 
cially true in the case of our woodlots and small holdings of 
the Ohio Valley and Middle West, as well as in the more ex- 
tensive hardwood forests of the East, southern Appalachians 
and the lower Mississippi Valley. 

Causes. — Ever since the first settlement of this country, 
our forests have been susceptible to severe fires due to a great 
variety of causes. Even before colonial days fires did con- 
siderable damage in our American forests. The early settlers 
often caused many fires in the clearing of land and no attempts 
were made to check them. The Indians have started many 
fires, especially in the West, to drive out game to facilitate 
hunting. Many grass fires, resulting later in serious forest 
fires, have been started in the South and West even up to 



present times with the hope of improving grazing conditions. 
Altogether about two-thirds of our whole forested area has 
been burned over at one time or another and much of this has 
been burned repeatedly. 

Although it is very difficult to detect in every case the 
cause of forest fires, records have been kept which show that 
the most important causes of fires are railroad locomotives, 



Fig. 25. — A Cache of Fire-fighting Tools Ready for Use. 

The shovel, axe and cross-cut saw are generally the best tools for fighting 
fires. Mattocks, rakes and forks are also used in making a fire line. 

carelesss campers, clearing land and brush burning, lightning, 
hunters, and those of incendiary origin. It is a notable fact 
that of all the many causes of fires, lightning is the only one 
that is absolutely unpreven table. Burning to improve graz- 
ing, sparks from logging machinery, burning over blueberry 
patches and cranberry marshes are also important sources of 


Altogether, sparks from railroad locomotives and logging 
machinery, such as steam loaders, donkey engines and cable- 
way skidders, have been the most serious causes of forest fires. 
Engines, especially on steep grades, send out great masses of 
sparks which readily ignite the grass or leaves along the right 
of way during the dry season. Railroad companies have suf- 
fered heavy damage suits as a result of this and many are now 
cooperating with state foresters and other officials in cleaning 
up their rights of way of all inflammable material, in installing 
effective spark arresters to prevent the emission of live sparks 
and very often in patrolling along their tracks during the dry 
summer season. Some have even adopted oil for use as fuel 
in mountain and forested regions. Several of our railroads 
have found the use of oil very economical especially in cheaper 
transportation of this fuel supply as against the heavier and 
more bulky coal. Some railroads, like the Chicago, Milwau- 
kee and St. Paul, are electrifying their mountain divisions 
both to reduce the losses from forest fires and as an economical 
measure of operation. Several states now require by law the 
use of spark arresters, fire patrol and the cleaning up of the 
rights of way through forest regions. A few railroads have 
adopted certain remedial measures and have more than saved 
the increased cost of the installation and change of equip- 
ment in decreased law suits for fire damage. In New Jersey 
several of the railroads maintain plowed fire lines paralleling 
the tracks on each side, at a distance of one hundred feet. 
These fire lines are kept clear of leaves and grass so that in 
case sparks ignite the strip inside the fire line, the fire will stop 
when it reaches the plowed dirt, unless there is a high wind 

Spark arresters consist of a heavy iron mesh intended to 
prevent the emission of large, live sparks. They are placed 
in the smokestack of the locomotive, and on steep grades, 


where they are needed most, they interfere to some extent 
with the draft, which means of course that it is more difficult 
to maintain a proper head of steam. In some cases firemen 
have driven large holes through the spark arresters or have 
detached them altogether so that constant inspection has 
been made necessary in some states to maintain the arresters 
in condition. However, it may be said that in spite of con- 
stant changes and improvements, no spark arrester has as 
yet been devised or perfected to suit all conditions and cir- 

Careless campers constitute a very serious class in dealing 
with the fire question. This is especially true in mountain 
and forested resorts which are frequented by campers and 
visitors during the dry summer season, such as in Wisconsin, 
the lake district of Minnesota, the Adirondacks, and portions 
of the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific coast. Many a fire 
has been started by a lighted match carelessly thrown in the 
dry leaves. Burning cigars or cigarettes are also a consid- 
erable source of forest fires. Perhaps the most serious phase, 
however, is the neglected campfire. Too often a campfire 
is built against a large or old rotten log where it may smoulder 
for weeks. Other fires are built in the thick duff and are left 
in the morning or at night when a gust of wind may carry a 
spark a short distance and ignite the inflammable woods. 
The best way is to first build only a small fire and if it is im- 
possible to find a site free from duff or litter dig a trench 
around it so the fire cannot run through the leaves or brush, 
and be sure to extinguish it on leaving it either for the day 
or for the night. Fires should always be built in the open 
and away from any standing or dead trees or any accumulation 
of dry, inflammable material. 

Clearing farm land and burning brush, which always goes 
with it, is a common source of fires in our forest regions. 


Many states, like Idaho and Massachusetts, now have closed 
seasons during which it is illegal to burn brush without a 

Lightning is a common source of fires, especially where 
thunder and lightning storms are prevalent. Fires started 
from this cause have been known to burn for weeks before 
breaking out into a serious fire. The popular belief that 
certain trees are more susceptible to being struck by lightning 
than others does not seem to be substantiated in actual fact. 
Lightning is especially dangerous when striking an old dead 
tree or stub. These ignite freely, especially during a dry 
time, whereas a healthy green tree may not ignite at all. 

Our lodgepole forests in the Rocky Mountains have suffered 
greatly, in the past, from fires set by Indians to improve the 
hunting. In the South it is customary to burn over the woods 
every spring in order to improve the grazing conditions for 
the cattle and hogs. Even in parts of the West this is done 
to improve sheep grazing. 

The question of burning over the woods every year to pre- 
vent the accumulation of a large amount of inflammable ma- 
terial has been agitated. This is called " light burning " and 
has as its object the annual disposal of the debris on the forest 
floor in order to prevent a severe conflagration during an un- 
usually dry season. But this has proven to be poor policy 
because much injury results to the standing timber and re- 
production, and in addition it is very expensive. This has 
been positively demonstrated in portions of California. 

Effects. — The effects of forest fires, both direct and in- 
direct, may be summed up in the following: 

1. Destruction of standing timber. The greatest damage 
resulting from fires is the direct loss of millions of feet of 
valuable timber. During large conflagrations millions of dol- 
lars worth of standing timber is destroyed. If it were possible 



to cut and utilize this burned timber, much of it could be 
salvaged, but usually other timber is being cut or facilities 
are not available to save the remaining standing timber. 
Contrary to the popular impression even severe crown fires 
do not actually consume the large trees. All the branches are 
usually burned off and the stem is severely charred, but if 
cut within a year or two after the fire, much timber can be 

Fig. 26. — Results of a Crown Fire. 
No living trees are left to re-seed the area and the wind soon blows over 
many of the trees left standing. 

saved. Altogether, the greater part of our annual $50,000,000 
fire loss can be attributed directly to the loss of standing 
timber. Surface fires also kill a great many trees, especially 
in our hardwood regions and southern pineries. Crown fires 
have done the greatest damage in the northern spruce and 
pine forests, the lodgepole pine stands of the Rocky Moun- 
tains and in the dense Douglas fir and white pine and hem- 
lock forests of the Northwest. 


2. Indirect losses through windfall, insects and fungi. Be- 
sides the enormous losses from the direct destruction of valu- 
able live timber, forest fires do considerable damage by eating 
away the lower parts of tree trunks until the wind blows the 
tree over or permits the entrance of wood-destroying fungi. 
This is especially the case in the South where the longleaf pine 
is tapped for turpentine. Fires get into the exposed resinous 
faces and weaken the tree so that the first strong wind blows 
it over. Considerable losses have also been occasioned 
through the entrance of fungi and insects into fire-scarred 
surfaces of trees. Chestnut, lodgepole pine, western yellow 
pine and our oaks especially have suffered in this respect. 
Some trees, like Douglas fir, pitch pine and hemlock, either 
have thick barks or contain fire-resistant materials, such as 
tannin, so that they are protected by nature from injury by 
surface fires. 

The longleaf pine seedling protects itself admirably from fires 
by its thick bushy crown. Even when this is burned off, the 
vegetative sprout at the tip will start up the following spring. 

3. Destruction of seedlings and young growth. A consider- 
able portion of our fire damage is the destruction of the 
young trees and reproduction which must be depended upon 
for the forests of the future. A dense young growth of coni- 
fers is especially inflammable in a dry season. Although it 
has no actual market value, our courts are beginning to rec- 
ognize the potential or future value of young standing timber 
and are allowing damages in case of fires resulting from care- 
lessness or negligence. In fact, under our present conditions 
of extreme fire hazard, the planting of new forests or expen- 
sive provision for natural reproduction is not warranted un- 
less adequate fire protection is assured. 

4. Injury to the soil and streamflow. As explained in the 
chapter on silvics, trees depend for their food and therefore 


their growth and vigor on certain constituents in the soil, 
supplied from decayed leaves, twigs, etc., as well as from the 
mineral salts. If the humus and soil cover are destroyed, the 
soil is impoverished and a poor forest results. A severe fire 
will frequently burn out a thin soil down to the bare rock or 
at least to the hard mineral soil. This is especially the case 
in mountainous regions. It may take hundreds of years to 
bring back the soil to its normal condition and fertility. As 
the forest builds up the soil, it depends upon it for its best 
growth. In this same connection, it is apparent that after a 
fire the forest largely loses its function to prevent rapid 
run-off with consequent erosion of the soil, floods, etc. Many 
of our floods, especially in western Pennsylvania and the 
South, may be attributed to the work of fires as well as 
denudation from lumbering. 

5. Loss of life and general business. It is estimated that 
several thousand lives have been lost in forest fires in the 
past fifty years. Whole towns have in some cases been wiped 
out of existence, together with many of their inhabitants. 
This has prevented in some cases the settlement of new re- 
gions by the loss of so much property. Even in recent years 
about seventy lives have been lost in forest fires on an aver- 
age every year. 

Many mountainous sections which have served as attrac- 
tive summer resorts and recreation grounds have lost their 
attractiveness on account of fires. Even considerable game 
and fish have been destroyed by them. Many areas have 
reverted to the state through non-payment of taxes as a 
result of forest fires and this direct economic loss has been 
enormous in portions of the Lake States, especially Michigan, 
and in the South. For every dollar's worth of timber burned, 
it is estimated that several dollars in wages that would other- 
wise be expended in logging and manufacturing are lost. 



Methods of Prevention. — In Europe the annual fire losses 
are less than one per cent of all the forested area, and all 
the forests are under some systematic plan of fire protection. 
In this country about one-half of our total forested area is 

Fig. 27. — Locating an Incipient Forest Fire. 

Lookout stations on peaks and high elevations for the detection of fires have 
proven to be effective means of controlling them. Telephone lines connect 
these stations with the nearest warden or ranger. 


now receiving at least some attention in the matter of fire 
protection, whereas only a few years ago less than two per 
cent received any protection. 

Our National and State Forests are now being organized 
under efficient plans of fire protection. Even the lumbermen 
and timber owners are uniting in protective associations and 
providing for a definite system of fire prevention. Large 
tracts of timber are now being successfully protected at an 
annual expenditure of from two to four cents per acre. Some 
associations of private owners have spent as high as ten and 
fifteen cents per acre in protecting their holdings against fires 
and they consider this as excellent forest fire insurance. 

The principal methods of fire prevention include the con- 
struction of permanent improvements, such as roads and trails, 
to facilitate the work of getting over the forests and in stop- 
ping the spread of fires, lookout points and observation towers, 
and telephones connecting them with the nearest town and 
fire warden. In dangerous seasons fire guards or patrolmen 
are engaged to patrol the areas and watch for fires from look- 
out points or towers. In the clear atmosphere of the West 
fires have been detected from fifty to seventy-five miles dis- 
tant. In the East fires have been detected up to thirty 
miles away. Railroads are building fire lines and clearing up 
their rights of way, and spark arresters and efficient ash pans 
are being installed where oil is not used for fuel. The occur- 
rence of inflammable brush and slash after logging operations 
has been a serious menace in protecting forests from fire. 
The United States Forest Service now requires the disposal 
of brush on most of the timber sale operations on the National 
Forests. Piling and burning the brush has given excellent 
results. In some forests lopping and scattering the brush is 
required. When this is done, the brush soon rots and the 
damage from fires is greatly decreased. New York and Min- 


nesota now require by law the disposal of brush by lopping 
or piling even on private logging operations. 

By eliminating the inflammable grass, grazing has also 
proven to be an efficient aid in the prevention of fires, espe- 
cially in portions of the West and South where grass fires are 

Methods of Control. — The method of controlling forest 
fires varies almost with every large fire. In general, however, 
small surface fires can be beaten out with wet brush or a 
wet blanket or by simply throwing dirt on it. Large surface 
fires are best controlled by cutting out a fire line and trench- 
ing to the mineral earth well in advance of the fire. It is 
best fought just over the brow of a hill and at night when 
the atmosphere is damp. Some of these lines must be many 
miles in length to effectively check the progress of the fire. 
Crown fires are only fought by back-firing or waiting until 
they become surface fires. Under the presence of a high 
wind it is almost impossible to stop crown fires. The shovel, 
axe, saw and sometimes the rake and the mattock are the 
best tools used in fire fighting. Water can seldom be used 
owing to the difficulty of transporting it to the fire. Caches 
of tools, food and camp supplies distributed at strategic 
points over the forest are now being established and used 
with great success on our National Forests. 

Forest Insects. 

Although working in a more insiduous and less visible way, 
insects have done an enormous amount of damage to our 
American forests. It is estimated that the western pine 
beetle killed over one billion board feet of timber — practically 
all the mature trees in the Black Hills of South Dakota in the 
ten years from 1898 to 1908, valued at a loss of $2,500,000. 

Our forests have been attacked rather spasmodically by 


these insects of which there are thousands of species. The 
most serious damage, however, has been done by a com- 
paratively few species. Some only attack living trees; others 
confine their work to dead and dying trees, while still others 
do great damage to sawed lumber and various wood products. 
Many of the insects limit themselves to certain tree species. 
Very often dead or fire-killed timber would remain sound and 
could be used several years after dying, if it were not for the 
destructive work of beetles or insects of some kind. Sawed 
logs or pulp wood should not remain long in the woods in the 
summer or they may be riddled and ruined by wood-boring 

Most of these attacks have been fought and curtailed by 
felling the insect-infested timber; by using the logs for lumber 
or other purposes; and by burning the tops, bark and other 
parts that may be infested with the larvae, eggs or even the 
adult. Infected timber should usually be felled and treated 
during the winter or at the season of the year when the adult, 
larvae or eggs will be disposed of. Spraying with a poisonous 
solution, such as arsenate of lead, has been used with success 
in the East in controlling leaf-eating insects, but it is not ap- 
plicable to large forest tracts. 

Some of the most dangerous species of insects and their 
work are described as follows: 

i. The gipsy moth (Porthetria dispar) and the brown-tail 
moth (Euproctis chrysorrhcea) were both accidentally intro- 
duced from Europe and have spread with alarming rapidity 
over eastern New England. They eat the leaves of both 
fruit and forest trees, with the exception of most of the coni- 
fers, and have done an immense amount of damage. Already 
about $7,000,000 have been spent in fighting them. Massa- 
chusetts has appropriated annually for a number of years 
over $200,000 to suppress them, but they are still spreading. 


They have been held in check to some extent by spraying, by 
destroying the egg masses and by the introduction of para- 
sites to feed on them. Strong efforts are now being made by 
the government authorities and the states involved to prevent 
the spread of these two insects to New York and the other 
adjoining states. 

2. The southern pine beetle (Dendroctonus frontalis) is 
one of the most dangerous insect pests in the country. It 
first became noticeable in 1891 when it spread over West Vir- 
ginia, Virginia and North Carolina, killing millions of feet of 
valuable spruce and southern pine. Since 1902 it has been 
found in various parts of the South as far west as Texas and 
has broken out in intermittent attacks in the extensive pine 
forests of the Southeast. 

3. The spruce beetle (Dendroctonus piceaperda) has been 
prevalent in New England and New York since 18 18 and has 
broken out in some places, destroying many square miles of 
valuable spruce timber. It has, however, been rather spas- 
modic in its attacks. By cutting out infested bodies of tim- 
ber, it is estimated that on one tract of timber, there was an 
actual saving of over $100,000. Another species of this beetle 
has done great damage in the Engelmann spruce of the 
Rocky Mountains. 

Other prominent examples of insect attacks are the locust 
borer which riddles both the heart and the sapwood of the 
black locust, resulting in discrediting this valuable tree for 
planting by railroads and others in some regions; the white 
pine weevil; the catalpa sphinx; the larch sawfly; the hick- 
ory bark beetle ; the powder post beetle; and a great variety 
of others. 



A number of fungi have also done considerable damage to 
both living and dead timber and in some regions enormous 
losses have occurred. Among the most serious attacks may 
be mentioned the following: 

i. The chestnut bark disease (Endothea parasitica) was 
first discovered in 1904 near New York City and it has now 
spread over nearly the entire range of this valuable tree. It 
has killed every chestnut tree to which it confines its attacks, 
in some places, especially in southeastern New York, New 
Jersey, southern New England, and in eastern Pennsylvania. 
The fungus works in through the bark, encircles the tree just 
beneath the cambium layer and eventually kills the tree by 
cutting off the circulation above that point. Its seeds or 
spores are scattered by the wind, birds and animals and it is 
estimated that it has already done over $25,000,000 worth of 
damage. No effective means of checking its spread has as 
yet been discovered and it is problematical as to whether or 
not it will eventually kill all our native chestnut trees. In 
forest management, where the disease is prevalent, other 
species should be encouraged as against chestnut. 

2. Trametes pini attacks practically all the important coni- 
fers and it is a very common and serious disease. It enters 
the wood through wounds or fissures in the bark and causes a 
destructive rot in both the heartwood and sap. It is spread 
in the same manner as described above. No means have 
been devised to fight it but when discovered, diseased trees 
should be cut and removed if possible. This will result in 
greatly lessening the liability of loss from this cause. 

A number of others of the Polyporus family, the white 
pine blister rust and others, have done great damage to our 


Grazing may be classed as an injurious agency when not 
properly regulated. Goats and sheep as well as cattle may 
prevent the growth of reproduction either by tramping them 
under foot or by nipping off the tender young shoots. Our 
woodlots especially have suffered in this respect. Whenever 
cattle are turned into a wooded area, the young growth is 
soon destroyed. Sheep and goats have also done a large 
amount of damage to our forests in the West. On our National 
Forests, however, this matter is being properly regulated and 
in some cases grazing may be used to advantage in stirring up 
the soil and enhancing the chances for a successful germina- 
tion of seeds in reproducing forests. Woodlots should be 
devoted either wholly to pasturage purposes or to the growth 
of wood products. 

Sand Dunes. 

Blowing and shifting sands have done considerable damage 
on our eastern and western coasts, as well as in other por- 
tions, by covering up young or even mature forests, as well as 
valuable farm land and other property. They can be fixed 
and held in place by the planting of grasses and trees. France 
has expended many millions of dollars in the fixation of sand 
dunes in Gascony. 


A number of other injurious agencies have called forth cer- 
tain protective measures in forest management. Among them 
may be mentioned windfall, frost and sun cracks, damage 
from snow and ice storms, injurious effects of smoke or gases 
and the attacks of animals. For instance, porcupines have 
killed thousands of lodgepole pine trees by girdling them at 
the base. Deer often nip off the ends of tender young 


seedlings, and rodents commonly preclude the possibility of 
reproduction by consuming all the tree seeds in certain 

Most of the causes of injury mentioned may be properly 
treated in the silvicultural management of forests. As an 
example, where trees are susceptible to windfall, the stand 
should not be sufficiently opened up or trees left standing 
alone so that they will be blown down by the wind. 

Early or late frost may do much harm to certain species, 
especially in the seedling or young stages, both in freezing 
them and in heaving them out of the soil. The following 
species are especially susceptible to frost killing: black wal- 
nut, hickory, ash, beech, catalpa, a few oaks, fir and western 
yellow pine. Among the frost-hardy species may be men- 
tioned birch, poplar, willow, maple, spruce, redwood, red 
cedar and Scotch pine. 

Frost cracks are long splits caused in the stem of trees by 
the contraction of wood due to severe winter cold. They are 
followed by long projecting ribs on the tree, called frost ribs. 
A sudden fall of temperature is especially harmful. Hard- 
woods with large medullary rays are most susceptible, such 
as oak, beech and sycamore, as well as elm, ash and chestnut. 


Brown, Nelson C. Methods of Forest Protection. Hardwood Record. 
Feb. 25, 1914. 

Graves, H. S. Protection of Forests from Fire. U. S. Forest Service Bulle- 
tin 82. 

Greeley, W. B. Better Methods of Fire Control. Proc. Soc. Am. Foresters. 
Vol. VI, No. 2, 1911. 

Hitchcock, A. S. Methods Used for Controlling and Reclaiming Sand Dunes. 
U. S. Bureau of Plant Industry, Bulletin 57. 

Hopkins, A. D. Insect Injuries to Forest Products. U. S. Bureau of Ento- 
mology Circular 134. 

Long, W. H. Effects of Forest Fires on Standing Hardwood Timber. U. S. 
Forest Service Circular 216. 


Leavitt, Clyde. Forest Fires. Report of National Conservation Commission. 

Vol. II, Senate Document 676, 60th Congress, 2nd Session. 
Marlatt, C. L. Danger of the General Spread of the Gipsy and Brown-tail 

Moths through Imported Stock. U. S. Dept. of Agr. Farmers' Bulletin 453. 
Metcalf, Haven, and J. F. Collins. The Control of the Chestnut Bark 

Disease. U. S. Dept. of Agr. Farmers' Bulletin 467. 
Plummer, F. G. Forest Fires. Cause, Extent and Effects. U. S. Forest 

Service Bulletin 117. 
Schlich, Wm. Manual of Forestry. Forest Protection. 
Snyder, T. E. Damage to Telegraph and Telephone Poles by Wood-boring 

Insects. U. S. Bureau of Entomology, Circular 134. 
Win Schrenck, Herman, and Perley Spaulding. Diseases of Deciduous 

Forest Trees. U. S. Bureau of Plant Industry. Bulletin 149. 



General. — Forest mensuration may be defined as the meas- 
urement of logs, trees and standing timber and the determina- 
tion of growth and yields. It is not concerned with the 
measurement of any form of lumber. 

Fig. 28. — Mensuration Crew at Work in Southern Yellow Pine 

Forest, Texas. 
All of the trees are measured on strips of a given width and per cent, and 
these results are taken as an average of the whole forest. 

Under the present economic conditions the measurement 
of the forest crop is of increasing importance, since with the 
rise of stumpage values, accurate estimates of the contents of 
timber tracts are necessary. In addition many of our pro- 



gressive lumbermen and pulp manufacturers are now figuring 
on sustained yield from their forest land, so that the study of 
growth and yields is also of importance. Until the last few 
years it was customary to buy large tracts of timber on the 
ocular estimate of an experienced cruiser. Now, progressive 
lumbermen insist on a fairly accurate survey, as they can 
not afford to risk the chance of large error. Consequently 
mathematical methods are replacing the old ocular estimates, 
and while at present volume tables and yield tables are by 
no means complete much progress has been made. 

Units of Measurement and Equivalents. 

There are many units used at the present time in measuring 
timber. Among them may be mentioned the board foot, the 
cubic foot and the cord foot. Of these the board foot is the 
unit most commonly used. 

A board foot consists of a board one foot square and one 
inch thick. This unit has attained its wide use in America 
since it gives an idea of the amount of lumber actually used, 
but it is by no means scientific or accurate when the entire 
contents of a log are used. 

A cord foot is a stack of wood 8 feet long, 4 feet high and 
4 feet wide. It contains 128 cubic feet gross, but, on account 
of the air spaces between the component pieces, may range 
anywhere from 70 to 102 solid cubic feet of wood. Various 
factors affect the solid contents of a cord. Split wood takes 
up more room than the same amount before splitting. Long 
limbs permit of more air space on account of the crooks. 
Logs of large diameter permit less air space between them, 
and finally since wood is apt to shrink in seasoning up to 12 
or 14 per cent, the bulk of a long rank of cordwood may be 
diminished by that amount after standing one season in the 


Pulp wood, excelsior, shingles and heading bolts are the 
kind of materials which are mostly sold by the cord, and 
the dimensions may vary somewhat for these different 
products. For instance, in some parts of the country a 
cord may be 5' X 4' X 8', making altogether 160 cubic feet, 

In addition we have various forms of short cords and stove 
wood. Either 18-inch to 2-foot lengths may be used and the 
price varies according to the solid contents in the cord. A 
standard cord is considered to yield from 350 to 600 board 
feet, depending on the size of the logs, with 550 board feet as 
the average. 

The cubic foot is not widely used at the present time in 
the United States, being confined largely to measuring ma- 
hogany and other precious woods. With the increase of 
stumpage values, however, it is generally believed that the 
cubic foot will be a more common unit since the timber owner 
will insist on being paid for all this stumpage rather than 
make a generous allowance for slab and poor manufacture 
as has been done in the past. 

The following equivalents are generally recognized by the 
Forest Service: 

1 cord of wood 4' X 4' X 8' = 500 board feet 
1 railroad tie 7" X 9" X 9/ = 33-3- board feet 
1 cubic foot = 6 board feet 

1 post, 4" X 5" X 7' =3 board feet 

For converting foreign units the factors are as follows: 

1 cubic meter = 35.316 cu. ft. or 1.308 cu. yds. 

1000 cu. ft. sawn lumber = 2.36 cu. meters sawn lumber 
1 cu. meter per hectare (o.\ acres) = 14 cu. ft. per acre 


Log Rules. 

Log rules are tables giving the contents in board feet of 
logs of different diameters and lengths. Between 40 and 45 
different log rules are used in the United States and Canada, 
since different rules are favored by the lumbermen in various 

The Doyle rule, for instance, is the official log rule in Loui- 
siana, Florida and Arkansas, while the Scribner rule has re- 
ceived state sanction in Minnesota, Idaho, Wisconsin and 
West Virginia. The Spaulding rule is used in California. 
The Drew rule is used in Washington, and Vermont and New 
Hampshire each have a state rule. 

The log rule was first mentioned in the lumbering litera- 
ture of the United States in 1825 and the formula given at 
that time was practically the same as that of the Doyle rule 
which came out between 1870 and 1880. 

Methods of Construction. — Log rules are generally com- 
puted in one of two ways, either by formula or by diagram, 
although good rules based on mill tallies have been made. 
Of the formula rules, the Doyle, Champlain and International 
are the most prominent and among the important diagram 
rules, the Scribner and the Maine rules may be mentioned. 

The Doyle rule is made on the following formula: Deduct 
4 inches from the diameter of the log at the small end for 
waste, square one-quarter of the remainder and multiply 
by the length of the log in feet. This will give the contents 
in board feet. The allowance of 4 inches is for slabs, sawdust, 
edgings, etc., and it is extremely liberal for small logs, making 
the Doyle rule highly conservative for any but large sized 

The International rule is one of the best from the stand- 
point of theoretical construction, but so far it has not been 
widely accepted by the lumbermen. It is designed to give 


volume of logs cut with a band saw, cutting one-eighth inch 
kerf, and to allow for shrinking, seasoning, waste and normal 
crook. The rule was scientifically computed by mathematical 
formula and has been checked by mill measurements. 

The Scribner is by all odds the most important of the log 
rules based on diagrams. It was made by drawing a diagram 
to scale, showing the width of boards that could be cut from 
logs of different sizes, the diameters being taken at the small 
end inside the bark. It gives fair results for small logs, but 
for large logs over 28 inches in diameter the results are top 
small. However, it was figured that defects on over-mature 
logs might be allowed for in this way. The Scribner rule — 
as Scribner Decimal C {i.e., calling 104 board feet 10 and no 
board feet n, etc.) — has been adopted by the Forest Service 
for use in timber sales and has given satisfaction. 

The Scribner rule has been combined with the Doyle rule 
to make the Doyle-Scribner. Doyle values are used up to 
28 inches and Scribner values above, using the most con- 
servative portions of both rules. As a result the amount actu- 
ally obtained by sawing up the log may " over-run" the log 
scale considerably, to the profit of the manufacturer. 

The Maine or Holland rule is also based on diagrams and 
allows for boards down to 6 inches in width. It is designed 
for small logs and is very satisfactory for them. However, 
it leads to wasteful lumbering if applied to long logs, as a job- 
ber or contractor will cut in lengths favorable to him regard- 
less of the waste that ensues. The Maine rule is considered 
the best practical rule in use. 

A third classification might be made with standard rules, 
in which the logs to be measured are compared to the contents 
of a log of a given size. The New York Standard Rule is the 
best known of this type and is quite commonly used in the 
spruce operations in the Adirondacks. In this case the unit 


is a log 13 feet long and 19 inches in diameter at the small end. 
This standard or "market" contains about 192 board feet 
and the converting factor used in the Adirondacks is 5 mark- 
ets or standards per thousand board feet or 3 markets to the 
cord. To reduce a log of any dimensions to standards, its 
length and diameter at the small end squared are compared 
to the dimensions of the standard as follows: 

D 2 I 
Volume in standards = — - X — 

19 2 13 

This log rule is quite accurate in measuring pulp wood or 
wherever the entire volume of the stick is used. 

The New Hampshire or B lodge tt rule is based also on a 
standard, the unit in this case being a log 1 foot long and 
16 inches in diameter. The statute sanctioning this log rule 
states that there shall be 1000 board feet to every 100 Blodgett 
feet. This, however, does not hold as the lumbermen find 
that there are 115 New Hampshire feet per 1000 board feet 
when the diameter is taken from the middle of the log, and 
106 when taken at the small end. The formula used when 
converting logs into New Hampshire feet is as follows: 

V = ^ 2 X length. 

In converting a standard foot into board feet it is not possible 
to get an accurate result by using the same equivalent for all 
logs regardless of size. Small logs yield considerably less 
lumber when sawed than large logs owing to larger propor- 
tion of slab and sawdust, hence different factors should be 

Relative Values and Discussion. — Widely varying results 
may be obtained by scaling the same skidway with different 
log rules, owing to the different values that are given by 



different scales for logs of the same size. A brief comparison 
of the various log rules in use can be made as follows: 





Holland (or Maine) 
Cumberland River. 































Log Scaling. — Log scaling is the measuring of logs by a 
given log rule or log scale. It is generally done by one man 
although two men may work together. The scale stick is 
applied to the small end of the log inside the bark, the length 
of the log is ascertained and the contents, as given by the 
rule used, are recorded. The scale rule is generally a straight 
piece of hickory tipped with a plain binding of brass or iron 
and is marked with figures, showing the contents of logs of 
different diameters and lengths. Sometimes a caliper scale 
is used where the diameter is measured at the middle of the 
log. Under these circumstances the jaws of the calipers are 
generally sprung slightly to make a deduction for the bark. 
This deduction, of course, is the same for trees of all ages and 

The lengths are taken ordinarily in standard even lengths 
of 8 to 20 feet and an overrun of from 2 to 5 inches is made 
in order to allow for the loss by checking, as the log seasons, 
or "brooming" in the drive. In some cases there is an enor- 
mous waste of valuable lumber owing to excessive allowance. 
For getting the length of the log, a pole or tape is commonly 
used, although a wheel having 10 spokes, 6 inches apart, is 


J 55 


sometimes used. Every time the colored spoke of the wheel, 
running along the log comes down, 5 feet has been measured 
and the length of the log may be easily ascertained within 
6 inches. An experienced scaler can estimate by eye the 
lengths quite accurately. In scaling, the diameters are 
ordinarily rounded to even inches and a log 9.8 inches in 
diameter would be scaled as a log of 10 inches, while a log 
1 1.4 inches would be scaled as an n-inch log. 

The results to be obtained in scaling are very largely de- 
pendent upon the personal equation and the care exercised 
by the scaler. Some scalers are extremely conscientious and 
will endeavor to measure the length of each log, while others 
may guess the contents of a log without using the scale stick 
at all. Two conscientious scalers working independently 
may get different results on the same skidway when the same 
log scale has been used, the difference being due to allowance 
for defects, etc. The cost of scaling ordinarily ranges from 
five to fifteen cents per thousand board feet. 

Volume Tables. 

A table of contents for any one species, showing the number 
of board or cubic feet in trees of different sizes, is called a 
volume table. The contents given are average only and while 
they will hold true in computing the contents of an entire 
stand, they may not give a true result for any single tree. 

Kinds. — Volume tables are of different kinds, the most 
important of which are: 

First. Volume tables based on diameters alone. 

In this type the contents are considered to be a function of 
diameter only. It is the simplest form of volume table, easy 
to make, and ordinarily the first to be used. When not 
used outside of the region for which it was intended such a 
table gives fair results. 


Second. Volume tables based on diameter and height of 
the tree. 

Under this heading may be grouped those volume tables 
in which the contents for trees of different total heights or 
for different used lengths are given. There are several forms 
of this type of volume table, such as those based on diameter 
and merchantable lengths and the volume table based on 
diameter and tree classes. The most widely used, however, 
is the volume table based on diameter and classified heights. 

Third. Graded volume tables. 

This table is the only one which shows quality as well as 
quantity produced. As the name indicates, such a table 
gives the amount of lumber of each grade that can be sawed 
from trees of different sizes. A few such tables have been 
made and when care is taken in constructing them, they are 
extremely valuable since they give the exact value of each 
tree as it stands in the woods. On account of the fluctua- 
tion in price and grades and the variation in sawing practice, 
such tables need constant revision and can be used effec- 
tively only with valuable woods and where intensive manage- 
ment prevails. 

Construction. — The graded volume table is made by fol- 
lowing a tree which has been measured and numbered through 
the mill, log by log, and recording the amount of timber of 
each grade that is obtained. The contents of all trees having 
the same diameter are averaged and any irregularities are 
evened off by a curve. 

The volume table, based on diameters alone, is made by 
scaling a large number of trees (500 will serve if taken with 
care but 1000 trees are better) and then plotting the contents 
on cross-section paper, diameter on age. A curve is then 
drawn to strike an average and the values are read from the 


The table based on classified heights is rather more com- 
plicated but the underlying idea is the same. The data is 
best secured on a large lumbering operation where the 
large number of trees felled permits the rejection of any 
specimens that deviate from the normal. A crew of three 
men is most effective and the equipment needed consists 
of calipers, tape, scale stick and notebook or tally sheet. 

The steps are as follows: 

First. Scale 500 to 1000 trees, using the log scale in com- 
mon use in the region. Volume tables based on different log 
scales will show different results, so it is generally better to 
use the log rule favored by the local lumberman unless there 
is good reason for changing. 

Second. Group the trees by diameters and classified 
heights, i.e., keep records of all of the 6 inch, 40 foot and all 
7 inch, 40 foot trees together, etc. 

Third. Plot the contents of the trees. — Volume on diam- 
eter in height classes, i.e., make a separate curve for the 
40 foot trees as well as for the 45, 50 and 55 foot trees, etc. 

Fourth. The values that are read from this curve may 
increase irregularly so they are plotted again; volume on 
heights in diameter classes. The final values may be read 
from these curves and will ordinarily increase from size to 
size in a uniform manner. 

Use. — In computing the contents of a forest, following a 
valuation survey, volume tables are practically indispensable. 
The tally sheet of the estimator will give the number of trees 
of each diameter and species and it is then a very simple mat- 
ter to multiply the number of 10-inch spruce trees, for instance, 
by the value given in the volume table for a tree of that size. 
The computations are comparatively short and the results 
much more accurate than those obtained by using a rule of 
thumb or from ocular estimates. If the table used is based 


on classified heights, a curve, height on diameter, must be 
drawn to show the average heights for trees of different 
diameters, in order that the proper values in the tables may 
be used. 

Practically all systematic timber cruising is based on vol- 
ume tables, and by their use a well-trained forester can go 
into a new region and compete successfully with local woods- 
men whose methods of estimating are based almost entirely 
on local experience. 


Cruising is the woodsman's term for estimating standing 
timber. In most cases it is rarely an actual measurement of 
the entire timbered area, but a portion is generally measured 
and this fraction is taken as typical of the whole. The esti- 
mating systems may be classified as follows: 

First. Ocular. 
Second. Systematic. 

First. Ocular. The practice of estimating timber by eye 
is extremely primitive and is the first method that is used 
in any virgin country. It is an extremely rough method and 
its accuracy depends entirely upon the care and experience 
of the estimator. In the past, ocular estimates served very 
well because generally a highly conservative estimate was 
made and due allowance for defects provided for, but with 
the increase of stumpage values a more accurate valuation 
must be obtained and, consequently, the day of ocular esti- 
mates, on a large scale, is passing. 

Ocular estimates were either absolute guesses or else a rough 
count was made of the trees and sample trees selected. With 
an experienced cruiser good results may be obtained in this 
way, but the same cruiser outside of his own type of forest 


would be apt to get inaccurate results, as his experience 
would be of no avail. 

Second. Systematic Methods. Under present economic con- 
ditions and with the need for accurate estimates of growth 
and yields, more than a mere guess is needed. For this reason 
actual measurement of a definite portion of the forest is fast 
replacing the rough estimate based largely on local experience. 

Systematic cruising is done by measuring trees on a strip or 
by selecting sample plots which are typical of the forest as 
a whole. In the strip method a compass line is run across 
the tract to be estimated and all of the trees on a strip of 
a certain width are measured. When the opposite side of 
the tract is reached, an offset is made, the length of which 
depends on the per cent to be covered, and then a line is run 
back across the tract. By crossing the forest repeatedly, 
from 2\ to 25 per cent of the forest may be measured and 
an accurate idea of the condition of the topography of the 
tract, timber and lumbering possibilities may be obtained. 

The instruments used in cruising are compass, chain, cali- 
pers to measure the diameters and a hypsometer to ascertain 
the heights. Under certain circumstances distances may be 
measured by pacing and heights estimated by eye. A four 
or five man party is the ordinary crew, and the duties are as 
follows: The compass man runs the course, takes notes on 
the topography, drainage, type of forest, and records the 
distance to roads, streams, etc., and keeps a rough sketch 
map during the survey. The leader of the party generally 
acts as tally man and records the measurement of the trees, 
(a separate record is kept of the trees as obtained by the 
caliper men for each acre or type) . Two men caliper the trees 
4J feet from the ground and if a fifth man is available, he will 
assist the tally man or the compass man and meanwhile 
gathers data on heights, types, condition, etc. 


The strips should always be run up and down the slopes 
in order to get a true average of the stand. All roads, 
streams, ridges should be noted and all data recorded which 
will have a bearing on lumbering and silvicultural methods 
of management. The ordinary valuation survey consists in 
measuring the trees on a strip 4 rods wide, each caliper 
man covering a distance of 2 rods out from the compass 
man's line. In open timber, like western or southern yellow 
pine, a strip 10 rods wide may be covered, but under these 
circumstances all trees on the strip are counted rather than 
measured and every fifth tree is tallied for contents. 

The distance covered by an estimating crew depends largely 
upon the topography, type and methods of getting diameters. 
In a dense spruce forest of Maine and Northern New York, 
a crew can make 2 \ miles a day with diligence. In ordinary 
hilly country with timber of ordinary density from 3 to 4 
miles a day is considered a good day's work, while in very 
open country with sparsely timbered areas five or six miles 
of line may be run in a day. 

In locating sample plots average acres may be laid off 
according to one of two methods. The plots are located 
either arbitrarily in the different types composing the forest 
or they may be located on a line across the tract, at a fixed 
distance apart. The plots may be either round or square, 
accurately measured or approximated. All of the trees may 
be calipered or the number of trees on a given plot may be 
counted and the contents obtained by a rule of thumb. 
The best rule of thumb in practical use is the one used by 
Ward in connection with his sample plot method. His method 
consists in counting all of the trees on a plot with 118 feet 
radius (one acre), and selecting an average tree by eye. Its 
merchantable length is estimated in terms of 16-foot logs and 
the diameter inside the bark at the top and bottom of the 


stick to be used is estimated. The average diameter inside 
the bark is then obtained and the contents of the trees com- 
puted as follows: 

(Mean, diam. 2 — 60) .8 = Contents of average 16-foot log in 

board ft. 

Multiplying the number of logs in the tree by this figure 
will give the contents of that tree. With this figure as an 
average, the contents of the sample acre may be obtained by 
multiplying by the number of trees standing upon it. 

Determination of Contents of Trees. 

For ascertaining the contents of trees in board or cubic feet, 
either for commercial or scientific purposes, a quick method 
is desirable. In logging work this is very easily obtained by 
scaling each log by means of a scale rule which immediately 
gives the contents in board feet. 

In ascertaining the cubic contents of a tree it is necessary 
to use one of several methods. The customary way is to 
multiply the average of the basal areas of both ends of the 
log in square feet by the length of the log in feet. 

In some cases it is desired to know not only the present 
contents of the tree but the contents ten years ago, twenty 
years ago, etc. Under these circumstances a stem analysis 
is made. A complete or tree analysis comprises the follow- 
ing measurements: Diameter breast high outside the bark; 
height of stump; length of each section; diameter in and out- 
side of the bark at each cross-section; diameter growth at 
each section; age and width of sapwood; total age of tree; 
total, clear and merchantable length. 

In making stem analyses only sound trees should be selected 
as any inferior trees may lead to erroneous conclusions. Un- 
der ordinary circumstances the easiest way is to follow the 
fallers on a logging job and measure the logs which they cut 


Cross-cuts should be made with a saw and these should be at 
right angles to the axis of the tree. The diameter growth of 
each section is studied by counting the annual rings, the 
character of investigation determining whether the count is 
started at the centre or the outside. If the average diameter 
growth is the object, count the rings out beginning at the 
pith. When volume growth is wanted, count the rings in 
and measure out by decades; that is, by making a mark at 
each tenth ring and measuring the distance from decade to 
decade can readily be computed the diameter of the section 
ten years ago, twenty years, thirty years, and from this the 
volume of the log may be computed by decades. 

The number of rings at each cross-section indicates the age 
of that section and by computing the volume of the tree, con- 
sidering both height and diameter, the contents may be easily 
ascertained. Such an analysis is indispensable in an accurate 
growth study. 

Where a record of growth is not necessary but a statement 
of present dimensions will suffice, taper tables may be used in 
place of stem analysis. Under these conditions the dimen- 
sions of the trees are recorded at certain fixed distances above 
the stump, so that by means of a log rule the contents of the 
total tree may be worked up, but without, of course, con- 
sidering age or growth. Taper tables will be sufficient for 
constructing or amending volume tables but since age is not 
considered, i.e., no rings are counted, they are not of use in 
the study of growth. 

Growth Studies. 

By growth is meant the increase of a tree in size. Height, 
diameter, area and volume growth cover the phases of a 
tree's increase. Of these volume growth is the most im- 
portant, considering it from an economic standpoint. 



The methods of studying diameter growth and volume 
growth were touched upon in connection with stem analysis, 
but the study of the growth of a single tree is of minor im- 
portance in comparison with the volume growth of stands. 

Fig. 30. — Studying the Growth of Beech in the Catskill Mountains. 

A crew is at work making a stem analysis to determine the rate of growth. A 
large number of trees are felled and measured and the data averaged together. 

As previously described, the volume growth or increment of 
a single tree may be ascertained by computing its contents 
and comparing them with the contents of the tree ten, twenty 
and thirty years ago, but this method involves a maximum 
amount of computation and is chiefly valuable in scientific 


For practical purposes the increment of forests is generally 
calculated or predicted in one of two ways. The mean annual 
increment method is based on the assumption that a forest 
will grow at the same rate during the next five years that it 
has maintained up to the present time. For example, a pine 
forest at forty years contains 24 cords of wood per acre; the 
mean annual growth, therefore, is .6 cord per acre per year. 
According to this method the increase during the next ten 
years would be at the same rate and at fifty the stand should 
yield 30 cords per acre. The accuracy of this method depends 
entirely on whether the growth rate is increasing or decreasing. 

The growth per cent method is also used in somewhat the 
same way and its use is largely confined to mature forests 
whose height growth has practically ceased and the forms of 
whose component trees remain unchanged. Schneider, a 
German forester, put forward a formula for determining the 
growth per cent, depending on the rapidity of the radial 

A sample plot is measured as the first step in this method 
and the average tree or trees selected. They are then chopped 
or bored breast high to ascertain the number of rings 
in the last radial inch. An instrument, called an increment 
borer, consisting of a hollow auger, is commonly used to ex- 
tract a core whose rings can be counted. The growth per cent 
is then found according to the formula 

growth per cent = ~- , 

where D equals the diameter 4J feet from the ground and n 

equals the number of rings in the last radial inch. If the 

stand runs 8000 board feet per acre and the growth per cent 

is found to be 3, then the forest is increasing at the rate of 

240 board feet per year and in five years the stand would run 

9200 board feet per acre. 


Both the above methods give results which may serve the 
purpose where only approximate figures are needed. For 
scientific purposes more accurate methods must be used. 


In predicting the contents of a forest at specified ages a 
yield table is used. This is a tabular statement of the con- 
tents per acre of a forest growing on a specified site and 
handled in a certain manner. The best tables contain yields 
for each of the three qualities of forest soil and, in addition, 
state whether the forest is pure or mixed, thinned or un- 

Yield tables to give satisfactory results should only be 
used in the region where they are constructed. Even in 
Germany with its limited area in comparison with the United 
States "local" yield tables are preferred to " general" tables. 

Two kinds of tables are recognized. 

i. Normal. 
2. Empirical. 

A normal yield table shows the yields per acre for fully 
stocked stands. It gives the average maximum yield actually 
obtainable, provided the stand has not been injured by fire, 
wind, insects, etc. 

Empirical tables show the average stand per acre for the 
whole forest. They consist merely of a table of average con- 
tents and in contrast the normal tables are indefinite and 

The selection of plots for making tables requires consider- 
able skill and the general tendency is to pick stands which are 
understocked. Complete measurements of the stand are taken 
and the contents per acre are plotted on cross-section paper 
— volume on age. 


Use of Yield Tables. — Yield tables are extremely valuable 
in determining the value of second growth timber, to predict 
future yields and as a check in estimating the contents of 
stands. With the increasing importance of exact information 
concerning forest management, yield tables are becoming 
more necessary and the next decade will no doubt see the 
number of American yield tables greatly increased. 

Working Plans. 

Any well-managed forest should be cut according to a 
definite plan and where an equal amount is to be cut each 
year, the cut being exactly equal to the growth (sustained 
yield), a detailed plan covering the needs and treatment of 
each portion of the forest is necessary. 

The German forester is very explicit in describing his forest 
and defining the exact manner in which it should be cut 
during the next cutting period or even rotation. In American 
forest practice, less intensive, on account of different economic 
conditions, the working plan document may discuss quite 
briefly the procedure for putting the forest in the most pro- 
ductive condition. 

The ideal working plan considers present condition and 
growth with possible improvement of both, as well as pro- 
tection against any attacks, etc., for each forest type. With 
a forest map showing types, topography and stand as a basis, 
a brief description will suffice, so that a well-trained woodsman 
may carry out the purpose of such a plan and by starting 
the cuttings in the portions of the forest that are damaged, 
or over-mature, and consequently slow-growing, the entire 
forest may be rejuvenated and put in splendid growing con- 



Cary, Austin. Manual for Northern Woodsmen. Harvard Univ. Press. 

Chapman, Herman H. Timber Estimating. Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters, 
Vol. IV, No. i. 

Daniels, A. L. The Measurement of Saw Logs and Round Timber. For- 
estry Quarterly, Vol. Ill, No. 4, 1905. 

Graves, Henry S. Forest Mensuration. John Wiley & Sons, New York 

Graves, Henry S. Scaling Logs. Forestry Quarterly, Vol. Ill, No. 3, 1905. 

Tiemann, Harry D. Methods of Discounting for Defects in Scaling Logs. 
Forestry Quarterly, Vol. Ill, 4-339. 




The history of the lumber industry in this country dates 
back to 1 63 1 when the first sawmill was established at Ber- 
wick, Maine. This was a rough affair, driven by water 
power and comparable to the common portable sawmill of 
to-day which cuts about 3000 to 6000 board feet per day. 
Since this time, the lumber business has taken wonderful 
strides until, at the present time, it ranks as the third in im- 
portance among the industries. In this country the output 
of lumber exceeds that of any other nation. Some of the 
modern mills now turn out as much as 700,000 board feet of 
lumber in a day. 

The native forests of this country were more abundant and 
of greater variety than those of any other country. At 
first only the finest white pine along the Atlantic Coast was 
cut for lumber purposes. Immense quantities of good tim- 
ber were cleared off and burned up to make way for our farms, 
and until recent years it was generally thought that our 
timber resources were practically inexhaustible. For a long 
time Maine was the center of the lumber industry. Squared 
white pine and spruce logs and ship timbers were sent to all 
parts of the world. New York was next opened as a great 
source of our lumber supply and until 1850 was the leader 
in lumber production. Pennsylvania was the temporary 
center next, and around 1880 Michigan held the leader- 



ship. Up to this time white pine was the greatest source of 
our lumber supply. But the Lake States were rapidly cut 
over and the center of the industry next shifted to the vast 
undeveloped stands of yellow pine in the South. The lumber 
production increased in leaps and bounds to meet the de- 

Fig. 31. — A Steam Log Loader in Action. 
Labor-saving devices are being constantly introduced in the lumber industry 
to reduce the number of men and horses employed. This Barnhart loader 
runs on its own track and can load up to 200,000 board feet of logs in a day. 

mands of the increasing population and the development of 
the middle and far West. At the present time more long- 
leaf pine is cut than any other species. In fact, it composes 
along with the other southern yellow pines about one-third 
of our total lumber cut. But even the extensive bodies of 
southern pine are becoming depleted and the industry is 
rapidly moving to the North Pacific Coast where the last 


virgin forests remain to be cut. At the present time Wash- 
ington leads all other states in lumber production and the 
principal tree, Douglas fir, composes about twice the total 
amount of any other single species left standing in our Ameri- 
can forests. In fact, about one-half of the total remaining 
supply of timber in this country is found in the five north- 
western states of Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho and 

Great improvements have also characterized the develop- 
ment of the lumber industry. In the early days only the 
finest and choicest specimens were selected for cutting in our 
forests. Many species, such as hemlock, red gum, sycamore, 
elm and other hardwoods, were left as worthless. The culling 
out of the white pine, oaks, etc., in the East left the forest 
to be reproduced from the inferior trees so that our present 
stands are relatively poor in quality as well as in quantity. 
Very often only one or two logs would be taken from the 
clear stem in logging and the remainder left in the woods to 
rot. Stumps were cut up to two or three feet in height. 

In sawing methods, also, there have been great changes. 
Up to recent years the wasteful circular saw cut from one- 
fourth to three-eighths of an inch kerf, wasting from 10 to 20 
per cent of the log sawdust alone. About the middle of the 
last century the gang saw and still later the band saw were 
introduced. These saws are great improvements in that they 
saw better lumber and do not waste so much in the form of 

Present Stand and Annual Cut. 

It is estimated that the present stand of timber in this 
country, of all classes, covers about 550,000,000 acres and 
that this contains 2,500,000,000 board feet. The supply of 
virgin timber at the present rate of consumption will prob- 



ably last, including growth, about thirty-five to fifty years, 
and from then on we will be forced to use second growth 
timber exclusively. 

The annual cut of lumber in this country is about 40,000,- 
000,000 board feet. About 78 per cent of the lumber cut is 
coniferous and the remaining 22 per cent is composed of 
hardwoods. Twenty per cent of the total remaining stand 
of timber left in the country is hardwoods. The principal 
trees cut in order of production are as follows: 


Per cent. 


Per cent. 

Yellow pine 

Douglas fir. . . 






Western pine 




White pine 


Altogether about 150 separate species, to a greater or less 
extent, are used for lumber in this country. The principal 
lumber producing states at the present time are: 


Per cent. 

Principal species. 


II .O 


Douglas fir, cedar, western yellow 
pine and Sitka spruce. 

Southern yellow pine, cypress and 

Southern yellow pine, red gum and 

Douglas fir, western yellow pine 
and spruce. 

Southern yellow pine, oak and yel- 
low poplar. 

Yellow pine, oak, red gum, and cot- 

Hemlock, white pine, birch and 




North Carolina 



Practically every state contributes to the lumber cut, al- 
though the southern and western states produce the bulk of 
it now. 



Rise in Stumpage Value. 

The rapid rise in stumpage values of practically all of our 
timber trees has been no less than phenomenal. This in 
itself indicates in a forcible way the growing scarcity of our 
wood supplies and foreshadows the rapidly approaching time 
when we must place our forests under a definite system of 

Fig. 32. — Flume Emptying into Log Pond, Wasco Co., Oregon. 
This flume is of box construction, 4 feet wide at top, and 2 feet deep. 

permanent management in the same way that the European 
nations have done. Up to about i860 timberlands did not 
even have any speculative value. Since that time, however, 
they have been on the rapid increase. In fact, holders of 
timber lands have made a great deal more money out of their 
investments than the lumber manufacturers, whose profits 
have not been great owing to increasing costs of labor and 
machinery, together with the intense competition that has 


existed in the production of lumber in the past twenty years 
or more. In brief, the majority of profits in the lumber 
business are due to the rise in stumpage values. 

Perhaps the best example of the increase of stumpage 
values is found in the case of our best all around lumber 
tree, white pine. In i860 to 1866, in Michigan, stumpage 
could be purchased for about $1 per acre. An acre often 
contained from 20,000 to 30,000 board feet. In 1880 white 
pine was worth about $3 per thousand board feet. In the 
same state and at the present time it is bringing from $10 to 
$20 per thousand board feet on the stump. 

In the East twenty years ago hemlock did not command 
any price whatever, as it was not considered worth anything. 
To-day it is bringing from $3 to $5 per thousand on the 
stump and lumber which sold for $7 per thousand ten years 
ago is now bringing about $20. 

Southern yellow pine stumpage has increased in the last 
ten years from $1 per thousand to about $4 per thousand. 

The value of any stumpage depends upon its quality, 
accessibility and relative demands on the market. A great 
many timber tracts formerly considered of little or no value 
on account of their remoteness from a railroad or market are 
now becoming of considerable value because of improved 
market conditions and use of such modern methods of logging, 
as flumes, railroad logging, etc. 

Methods of Logging. 

General. — Logging methods are more varied and are de- 
veloped on a greater scale in this country than in any other. 
American conditions, such as differences in topography, size 
of timber and inaccessibility, present so many difficulties that 
a great many different methods have been devised to get our 
logs to the sawmill in the cheapest possible way. With the 



gigantic redwoods and Douglas fir on the Pacific Coast, 
special logging machinery has had to be devised to haul in 
logs which were too heavy and unwieldy to be handled by 
horses or oxen. In the South cypress is usually deadened 
by girdling a year or more before cutting so the logs can be 
floated to the mill. In the swamps and in rough mountains, 

Fig. 53. — Skidding Logs by Steam in Northern Hardwood Forest. 

A Clyde ground skidder in action. Logs may be hauled in by a steel cable 
for distances up to one mile. 

overhead cableways are stretched on which to bring in the 
logs to the railroad. Each logging operation presents diffi- 
culties of its own. 

Up to the present time the lumber business is the only 
large industry which has not applied scientific methods in 
operation. The labor is largely unskilled and cheap and is 



made up of French-Canadians in the East, negroes in the 
South and miscellaneous foreigners in the Lake States and 
the West. 

Camps are roughly constructed of logs, and are temporary 
in character except in places in the South where the men live 
in box cars which are transported from one camp to another 
on log trains. About 60 men make up the usual lumber camp. 

Fig. 34. — Skidding Logs by Steam Donkey Engine in Northern Idaho. 

Chutes are frequently used to facilitate the movement of logs from the 
woods to the railroad landing. This timber was killed by a forest fire but it is 
still sound if logged in time. 

Felling and Bucking. — These operations usually go to- 
gether and the first consists of making an under cut with an 
axe on one side to direct the fall of the tree and then using a 
cross-cut saw to complete the cut. Formerly much valuable 
timber was lost in cutting high stumps especially in the West 


where spring boards were used to get above the flare of the 
stump. But lumbermen are now cutting low stumps and are 
saving this waste. After felling, the stem or bole of the tree 
is " bucked up " into logs of convenient length for hauling to 
the mill. Logs are usually cut in 16-foot lengths although they 
are cut up to 60 feet for long timbers in the South and West. 

Skidding. — This is the operation of dragging the log to 
the landing where it can be transported to the mill by one of 
the many methods, such as driving, fluming, or the use of 
logging railroads, etc. It is seldom used for distances of over 
one-quarter of a mile. A pair of tongs or a chain is attached 
to the end of a log and it is dragged by a team to the landing 
or skidway. 

Power skidding is now commonly used to drag the logs 
directly from the woods to a railroad track where they are 
loaded on cars and sent to the mill. A long steel cable up to 
a mile in length is used to drag the logs to the landing. This 
cable may be supported in the air from spar trees or laid out 
directly on the ground. A steam engine is used to haul in 
the cable with the logs attached. 

Log Transport from the Woods to the Mill. — A great many 
methods have been used to transport the logs from the woods 
to the mill. Sometimes this distance may be 100 miles or 
more. In the old days driving was the most common method. 
Logs were rolled into a stream and floated to the mill. When 
the stream was too small, splash dams were built to assist 
them in their progress. This method is cheap but is useful 
only with conifers and a few hardwoods that will float. A 
great many logs are lost and they are delivered all at once in 
the spring when the freshets are running. This means that a 
sawmill can seldom run the year round. 

Hauling on sleds in the winter is also a common method in 
the North and West. Loads of logs up to 15,000 board feet 


can be hauled at once. It is often used in connection with 
other methods, such as driving, flumes, railroads, etc. 

Logging railroads to haul logs to the mill are coming into 
greater use every year. Although the initial expense for 
construction and equipment is very great, it is sure; it brings 
to the mill a steady and constant supply of logs; no logs are 
lost in driving and it can be used with heavy as well as light 
logs. It is especially used in the flat pine regions of the 
South and in the North and West where there are long hauls 
to the mill. There are 265 logging railroads in the State of 
Washington alone. When a large tract is cut over, many of 
these railroads are maintained to develop agriculture and 
mining as well as the timber resources of the region through 
which they run. Traction engines that run on snow by the 
use of an endless chain over the driving wheel, and haul in 
long loads of logs on sleds, are used in Maine and Minnesota. 

Flumes are used in inaccessible regions where the use of 
railroads or driving is impossible or inadvisable. They are 
usually V-shaped and are used to transport logs and ties as 
well as lumber. They are chiefly used in the West. One 
flume in California is 55 miles long. They are expensive as 
a rule and depend upon a constant flow of water for suc- 
cessful operation. On long flumes the leakage is often so 
great that additional auxiliary streams must be turned in to 
float the logs. 

Chutes and timber slides are used on steep slopes where 
horses or oxen cannot be used to advantage. They operate 
both by gravity and with the help of a team on level stretches. 
A slight application of grease is often used to facilitate the 
progress of the logs. They usually extend from a skidway 
to the stream or to a landing where they are loaded on cars 
or sleds. They are found principally in the Southern Appa- 
lachians and in the Northwest. 



Rafting is employed on some of our larger rivers and on 
the Pacific Ocean. Enormous quantities of logs, usually in 
full tree lengths, are held together by chains and either towed 
or floated down the stream to their destination. 

Methods of Manufacture. 

General. — Methods of manufacturing lumber have been 
notable for the many changes and progress in the develop- 


Floating Logs to the Mill. 

Driving and rafting are cheap methods of transporting logs to the mill but 
they are gradually being displaced by the logging railroad which is more sure 
and can be used with heavy as well as with light species. 

ment of mill machinery. Demands for lumber have been so 
great in this country that very often mills built and intended 
to turn out 50,000 board feet per day have been later devel- 
oped to turn out twice that amount. About 1890 the band 


saw was generally introduced with a great consequent sav- 
ing in sawdust. All our large mills cutting from 100,000 to 
700,000 board feet per day are now equipped with band saws. 
The gang saw which has been used for many years in Germany 
has also been introduced to turn out the product more rapidly, 
and is used in connection with band saws. 

Not only is there more saving in sawdust but better lumber 
is being turned out with the modern machinery now in use. 
Our edgers, trimmers and planers are equipped to manufac- 
ture straighter and better lumber. Slabs and other mill 
refuse formerly wasted or sent to the burner are now used to 
make lath, box boards and in some cases a great variety of 
small wooden articles. 

A few years ago only the best species were used for lumber 
purposes. Now, every tree of marketable size is utilized in 
this way. Examples of woods that have recently been in- 
troduced on our markets are: red gum, sycamore, beech, 
western larch, black or tupelo gum, cottonwood, etc. The 
trees are now being cut down to 6 inches in diameter at the 
top. White pine is sometimes taken down to 4 and 5 inches 
at the top. 

Log Storage. — When the logs are brought in from the 
woods they are usually rolled from the cars or floated into a 
log pond where they are stored or kept until needed in the 
mill. These log ponds are usually only a few acres in extent 
and are sufficiently large to hold millions of board feet. In 
the past sawmills usually started cutting in the spring after 
the log drive, but now many sawmills run practically all the 
year and in the northern part of the country so-called " hot 
ponds " are maintained. They are kept from freezing by 
means of steam pipes around the pond. This permits the 
storage of logs in the winter time and the sawing of logs 
whenever they need them. In small and portable mills, logs 


are rolled down a slope to the log carriage and sent through 
the mill as they come from the woods. This is not pos- 
sible in large mills where millions of feet are driven down a 
stream at once or long trains of logs are brought in from the 

Sawmill. — The modern sawmill is usually equipped with 
all the labor-saving devices possible and many are run by 
electricity so that each part of the machinery may be run 
and controlled separately. There is usually the large band 
saw, with a steam-driven carriage on which the logs are 
carried past the saw. The boards are then sent through the 
edger to clear off the uneven edges, and the trimmer to trim 
off the ends at the proper length. 

Sometimes a gang saw will be used to saw up a squared log 
or " cant " into boards one inch in thickness. The boards 
and slabs are moved about on rolls driven by machinery to 
save manual labor. 

The sawyer, who directs the log carriage against the saw 
and manipulates the log into position by means of a " steam 
nigger," is the highest paid and most important man in the 
sawmill. On him depends the quality and grade of lumber 
produced from each log. Very few logs are perfect either in 
the matter of shape or in freedom from customary defects, 
such as rot, punk, knots and checks, and the profit of an 
operation very often depends upon whether the sawyer gets 
all of the available good lumber out of the logs to the best 

There are two ways, in general, of sawing lumber, namely, 
(i) flat grained and (2) quarter sawed or edge grained. The 
larger percentage of lumber is cut flat grained. Lumber 
used later for flooring, furniture, cabinet work, interior finish, 
etc., is often cut edge grained both because of its more pleasing 
appearance and because it will wear more smoothly and 


evenly and will not splinter. Edge grained lumber is that cut 
along the radius which is large in such woods as oak, beech, 
sycamore, etc., so that the cut is at right angles to the layers 
of annual growth, with the resultant pleasing effect. 

Seasoning. — After coming from the sawmill, lumber is 
seasoned for from four months to a year, depending on the 
species, before being placed on the market. This reduces the 
moisture content and therefore the weight so that the cost of 
shipping is materially reduced. Every one knows how badly 
green lumber will shrink when used in a house or for general 
purposes. About one-half of the total weight of wood is 
made up of water. 

Lumber is usually stored in regular and even but open 
piles in the yard so that the air will freely circulate through 
them and aid in drying out the wood. Hardwoods are heavier 
and more dense than conifers so that they require a longer 
time in which to season. Thick lumber also requires more 
time to season than thin lumber. 

Methods of artificially seasoning lumber by means of the 
dry kiln and steaming processes have been in use for a long 
time. Only the best grades are usually seasoned in this way 
however. A dry kiln is an enclosure in which lumber is 
rolled on trucks and heated up to a sufficient degree to expel 
the moisture. If done too rapidly and in too dry a heat, the 
lumber will check and warp and split. Steaming lumber has 
also been successfully used to hasten the process of seasoning. 

Planing Mill. — In connection with most of our sawmills, 
planing mills are run to plane flooring, interior finish and the 
better grades of lumber, later used for furniture, cabinet work, 
doors and sash. Planing is also done to save on freight 
rates. It is said that the cost of planing only one side of 
lumber will in many cases be justified in the lower freight 
rates that can be obtained as a result of this decreased weight. 


Lumber is always seasoned before planing because planed 
lumber will split and check more easily than the roughly 
sawn material. This is due to the greater exposure of pores 
at the surface in the case of rough $awed lumber. 

Typical Operation. 

The methods of logging in this country vary widely in 
different forest regions. They vary with (1) the size of the 
logs, (2) character of topography, (3) climate, whether snow 
logging is permissible or not, (4) development of the region 
and (5) labor. Heavy logging machinery is required with the 
big Douglas fir and redwood logs of the Pacific Coast, whereas 
horses and mules are usually used in most regions. The saw- 
mill operations are very similar all over the country and vary 
only with the size of the mill. 

A typical American logging operation may be found in the 
northern forest where the chief trees to be cut are the white 
and red pine, beech, birch, maple and basswood, with some 
hemlock and white cedar in the swamps. 

One or several rough log camps holding about 60 men each 
are constructed and haul roads are built before the snow 
comes. By the first of January there will be sufficient snow 
on which to haul the logs to the railroad landing and by 
this time there will be large quantities of logs waiting on 
skidways in the woods to be hauled out. Sleighs are then 
brought into service and the logs hauled down to the landing. 
About 3000 to 10,000 board feet are hauled at each load. 
The logging crew continues to fell and " buck up " the trees 
until the snow melts when the work in the woods will stop. 
Whenever a drivable stream is available, the pine and hem- 
lock logs are sent down to the mill by this method. But 
the heavier hardwoods require a direct haul by team or the 


The cost of a typical logging operation of this kind, based 
on charges per thousand board feet, would be about as follows: 
This includes the cost of logs from stump to the mill. 

Felling and bucking $0. 80 

Swamping and road building o. 40 

Skidding 1 . 20 

Hauling to landing 1.50 

Railroad (construction and maintenance) 1 . 30 

Camps (toting, building, repairs, blacksmith shop, etc.) o. 20 

Superintendency — overhead charges o. 40 


In figuring the net profit on the operation, stumpage charges 
are usually added to this cost. Woodsmen usually get about 

Fig. 36. — A Portable Sawmill in the Southern Appalachian Mts. 

This type of mill is used mostly in connection with woodlots and small tracts 
of timber. A complete mill sawing from 3000 to 8000 board feet per day can 
be set up for between $1000 and $1500. 

$30 per month and board. The cost of their board is charged 
against the particular work on which they are employed. 
Tools are furnished by the employer. In an ordinary camp 


of 60 men there will be about 35 horses used in skidding and 
hauling the logs. 

The mill is located on some railroad, most convenient to 
the logging operation, and where there will be water for log 
storage and sufficient room to lay out the lumber yards. The 
sawmill operation can best be described by following a log 
through the mill. As it comes up the " jacker chain " from 
the pond, the scaler at the entrance to the mill scales the log 
and pulls a lever which kicks the logs down the log deck. 
When needed, the sawyer operates the " log stop and loader " 
which releases the lowest log and holds back the others. 
Then by use of a " steam nigger " he adjusts the log on the 
carriage. Two men usually ride on the carriage to keep the 
log in place. The carriage carries the log against the saw 
and the boards fall off on the live rolls which carry them to 
the edger which cuts off the uneven edges and the bark.. The 
lumber next goes ahead to the trimmer which squares off 
the ends and as it comes out, it is graded and sent out into 
the proper pile in the yards. 

All waste from the various saws is ground up for fuel to be 
used under the boilers or is sent to the waste pile. The 
slabs and defective logs are worked up into lath, box board 
and small stock. 

The cost of manufacturing may be summed up as follows on 
the basis of a thousand board feet: 

Log pond $0.15 

Sawing 2.50 

Sorting and piling in yard 1 . 00 

Planing 0.75 

Dry kiln 0.50 

Loading on cars o. 50 

Insurance, repairs and depreciation o. 50 




Portable Sawmills. 

With the rapid cutting of our larger forest tracts, there are 
small bodies of timber scattered abou>t, in woodlot*holdings 
and second growth timber, that do not justify putting in a 
large logging operation. 

Small portable mills are used to cut up these small tracts. 
They can be moved about from one place to another and are 
used especially to supply the local demand for lumber. They 
are occasionally used to saw up ties and mine timbers. The 
whole equipment only costs from $1000 to $1500 and can be 
run with from 4 to 6 men. They usually turn out only from 
3000 to 10,000 board feet in a day. In Virginia and North 
Carolina there are over 2000 sawmills in each state. Most 
of these are of the small stationary or portable variety. 
Sometimes portable mills are run to turn out a special product, 
such as material for spools and bobbins, wood turning, fur- 
niture or cooperage stock, railroad ties, etc. 

Very commonly a portable mill owner will estimate the 
timber on a small tract containing 100,000 or a 1,000,000 
board feet and pay a lump sum for the standing timber alone. 
Most of our woodlot timber is worth from $3 to $10 per 
thousand board feet on the stump. Our best white oak, 
walnut, hickory, ash and white pine often bring from $10 to 
$16 per thousand as they stand in the woodlot. 

As our virgin stands become more and more depleted, the 
small and portable sawmill will come more into greater prom- 
inence. In the future the large sawmill cutting several hun- 
dred thousand feet of lumber per day will be a thing of the 
past. Much of the timber from our National Forests, espe- 
cially in the Rocky Mountain region, is now being sold to small 
mills to meet the local demands. In the Central States and 
East many farmers have portable mills that can be profitably 
used during the winter when the other work about the farm 
is not pressing. 


Forestry and Lumbering. 

Since about three-fourths of all the standing timber is now 
in the hands of lumbermen and private interests, it is a mat- 
ter of great concern to have them adopt at least conservative 
measures to protect and perpetuate the timber supply. Lum- 
bermen naturally look upon the work of the woods as a 
purely commercial or business proposition. They are only 
interested in adopting those measures which the forester 
can point out to them in a way that will better their 

The measures that the lumbermen are now coming to adopt, 
and in which the trained forester can help him are as follows: 

(1) Closer utilization of the raw products of the forests. The 
first conservative measure adopted has been the cutting of 
lower stumps. Formerly from 10 to 15 per cent of the best 
part of the trees have been wasted by cutting stumps from 2 
to 6 feet in height. In deep snow in winter much waste has 
been occasioned by cutting unnecessarily high stumps. Logs 
are also being taken down to a smaller diameter limit in the 
tops. On some operations where a diameter limit of 8 inches 
has been used it has been shown that by cutting to 5 or 6 
inches much good timber can be saved. Partially defective 
logs are also being used for various bi-products of the forest 
if not for lumber. Care in sawing the logs in proper lengths, 
and in avoiding crooks, etc., has also resulted in a great sav- 
ing. In the past much good timber has been used for skids, 
building camps, corduroys, etc., when inferior woods could 
just as well have been used. 

(2) Fire protection. The lumberman is beginning to realize 
that a little money spent on protective measures is good in- 
surance on standing timber. By the annual expenditure of a 
few cents per acre in the form of patrol, connecting telephones 


and trails with lookout points, using spark arresters on all 
engines and in some cases disposing of all brush and slash 
after logging by piling and burning it, much valuable timber 
can be saved for the future. 

(3) Careful surveys and timber estimates. It has been de- 
monstrated that the expense of a careful topographic survey 
and estimate by species has been more than justified in 
reduced cost of railroad location, systematic logging and 
knowledge of the exact amount of available timber. Besides 
this a forester can be of considerable service in general 
surveying, locating haul roads, railroads, cruising of all kinds, 

(4) Systematic organization of the whole operation. It is a 
notable fact that in spite of the great size and variety of the 
lumber industry and the fact that it employs more men than 
any other industry, no systematic or scientific management 
has been worked out to advantage. Foresters, after suffi- 
cient training, are becoming of great help in planning and 
executing the work of large operations, devising means of 
economy and in providing for the profitable utilization of 
bi-products of both the mill and the woods that would other- 
wise be wasted. 

Many operations that are sufficiently large are providing 
for a second cut. Foresters can determine what young trees 
are to be left to advantage, how to secure natural reproduc- 
tion and how to protect the young growth. Several lum- 
ber and pulp companies are now reforesting large areas of 
land denuded by both the axe and fire. In Massachusetts 
several box board companies are planting white pine intend- 
ing to cut it at an age of from twenty to forty years. 


Future of the Industry. 

Inasmuch as the total remaining stand of timber is esti- 
mated at 2,500,000,000,000 board feet, it is only a question 
of a comparatively few years, with our ever increasing con- 
sumption of lumber, before a definite shortage in our supply 
will be reached. We are now using twice the amount per 
capita that we did approximately fifty years ago and we are 
also paying now about twice the amount of money for our 
forest products that we did only about thirty years ago. 

It can readily be seen that the products of the lumber in- 
dustry will cost more and more in the future and that they 
will play an important part in our national economy. This 
means that the lumber industry will gradually adopt more 
and more conservative measures in cutting off the forests, and 
in time many of them will be managed on a continuous yield 
basis. Foresters will be employed to carry out these measures 
in the same way as we find in the older countries of Europe. 

However, it may be said that it is the duty of the state and 
national governments to practice forestry on a more intensive 
basis than private interests and there is no doubt but that 
much of our forested lands, now held by lumbermen and 
others, will be purchased or taken over by the various states 
and the federal government. Our state holdings are now 
increasing very rapidly and the government has spent mil- 
lions of dollars for the purchase of National Forests in the 
Southern Appalachians and the White Mountains. 


Bryant, R. C. Logging. John Wiley and Sons, New York City. 

Gary, Austin. Practical Forestry on a Spruce Tract in Maine. U. S. Forest 

Service Circular 131. 
Defebaugh, E. H. History of the Lumber Industry in America. American 

Lumberman, Chicago. 


Foley, John. Conservative Logging at Sewanee, Tennessee. U. S. Forest 

Service Bulletin 39. 
Fox, W. F. A History of the Lumber History of New York. U. S. Forest 

Service Bulletin 34. 
Sackett, H. S. Past and Present Prices of Forest Products. Vol. 2, Report 

of the National Conservation Commission, Senate Doc. 676, 2nd session 60 

Schenck, C. A. Logging and Lumbering or Forest Utilization. Darmstadt, 

Williams, Asa S. Logging by Steam. Forestry Quarterly. Vol. VI, No. 1, 

PP- i-33- 



Wood has always been an indispensable commodity in our 
civilization and, as one of the renewable natural resources, it 
will always continue to be. It is the most widely used com- 
modity, outside of food and clothing, supplying the need not 
only for fuel purposes but for construction material and the 
various arts and industries that use wood in one form or 

Our forests supply various medicines, naval stores, paper, 
maple sugar and syrup, wood tannins, oils and chemicals, as 
well as lumber. 

In former years only the best trees were felled and utilized. 
The finest white pine and oak trees were commonly used for 
purposes to which inferior trees were just as well suited. We 
are now using vast quantities of hemlock, red gum, beech, 
tupelo and others that were not considered worth logging 
twenty years ago. More hemlock is now being cut than any 
other species in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and 
New York. 

In a few more years, we will be forced to utilize second 
growth and the inferior species exclusively. Each species 
will then be put to the use to which it is best adapted. 

One of the greatest problems that we are facing in our 
forestry practice in this country is the closer and more com- 
plete utilization of the raw products of the forest. Besides 




the enormous quantities of wood destroyed by forest fires, 
insects and fungi, we actually use only about 40 per cent of 
the total volume of the trees felled in our lumbering opera- 

Fig. 37. — Typical Log Storage Pond at a Lasge Sawmill in Oregon. 

We use annually about 40,000,000,000 board feet of lumber besides large 
quantities of ties, poles, posts, fuel-wood, mine timbers, and wood for pulp, 
veneers, excelsior, etc. 

tions. The remainder is generally wasted in the following 

Per cent. 

Loss of wood in the stumps 10 

Loss of wood in the tops and branches 14 

Waste at the sawmill : 

Sawdust 11 

Bark 8 

Slabs 10 

Edgings and trimmings *. . . 7 

Total 60 


In many cases, this waste is being cut down by using saw- 
dust for fuel, slabs for laths, box boards and small wooden 
articles, and general waste for making pulp, or wood distilla- 
tion products. Lumbermen are also cutting the trees closer 
in the woods. But the general public is as much to blame as 
the lumbermen, for lumber is wanted only in even foot lengths 
and even inches in width, short pieces are not in demand and 
the railroads refuse to offer a sufficiently low freight rate so 
that the low grade lumber can be marketed at a profit, or in 
some cases, even near the cost of manufacture. 

We are securing very complete utilization in some wood 
using industries, such as the wood pulp, excelsior, wood dis- 
tillation, veneer, furniture, and wood novelty industries, but 
there is a correspondingly serious waste in the tight cooperage, 
turpentine and lumber industries and in the hewing of cross 

With the inevitable increase in the market value of our 
forest products, and the improvement in the transportation 
facilities, our annual wood waste will be reduced to a mini- 
mum as it now is in European countries. 

Wood Production. 

The production of forest products, especially lumber, has 
been on the steady increase within the past few decades. 
For instance, in 1880, the lumber production amounted to 
eighteen billion board feet. At the present time it is about 
forty billion board feet. 

The annual supply of wood products can best be shown in 
the following table. This is exclusive of the minor forest 
industries which are described later in this chapter. 

Annual production of wood, exclusive of the amounts used 
in the so-called minor forest industries: 





Cubic feet. 


40 billion board feet 

90 million cords 

150 million pieces 

3800 thousand pieces { 
500 million pieces ) 
(Various sizes) 




Cross ties 


Posts. . . 

Round mil 

le timbers 




Altogether about 20,000,000,000 cubic feet of wood are con- 
sumed annually in this country. The principal uses of the 
more important species will be found in the appendix. 

Wood Consumption. 

Use of the Lumber Cut. — The above table in a general way 
shows how our wood is consumed as well as produced. The 
principal item, lumber, however, is further used and manu- 
factured in a great variety of ways. Much of it is used in 
the rough for general lumber and construction purposes, but 
the better grades are planed and used later for flooring, in- 
terior finish, furniture, vehicles, car construction, sash and 
doors, woodenware, implements and a long list of similar 
lines of usage. 

An investigation of the wood using industries of about 
twenty representative states shows that the lumber cut is 
used in the following different ways, together with the per- 
centage of each: 

Per cent. 
Planing mill products, such as sash, doors, flooring and general 

mill work 30 

Rough lumber and structural timbers 26 

Boxes and crating 10 

Car construction 5 

Furniture 3 

Vehicles 2 

Agricultural implements 1 

Musical instruments and woodenware _i 

Total 78 


The remaining 22 per cent are made up of export lumber 
(7 per cent) and miscellaneous wood uses such as boat and 
ship building, trunks, all kinds of handles, wooden fixtures 
and appliances, etc. 

American versus European Conditions. — This country is 
the greatest wood consuming nation on the globe. We use 
230 cubic feet per capita as against 200 for Canada, 37 for 
Germany and 25 for France. Moreover, Canada has 60 
acres of forest per capita whereas we have only 6. 

But the greatest contrast is with European conditions. 
As opposed to our use of only about 40 per cent of the trees 
felled in our forests, it is estimated that in Germany, about 
96 per cent of all the wood that is grown are utilized. Every- 
thing, literally, is used in one way or another. Even the 
stumps are grubbed out and the smallest twigs are utilized. 
There is no waste due to destructive forest fires and very 
little insect or fungous damage. 

The reason for the close utilization in Germany is the 
scarcity, and therefore the high value of wood supplies, 
together with their national spirit of economy, good trans- 
portation facilities and demand for all classes of wood 

We are rapidly approaching the same situation in this 
country in respect to wood utilization. Our better species 
are rapidly disappearing and we are already using inferior 
trees and those that are defective and knotty. This country 
was originally endowed with a greater variety and better 
quality of trees than any other nation. We have been waste- 
ful and prodigal in their use. In Germany, there are only 
about five important species that are adapted for forestry 
purposes. In this country we have at least twenty-five 
species that are correspondingly valuable to suit our con- 


Wood Substitutes. — It is often said that when our timber 
resources are depleted, we will find satisfactory substitutes. 
But in spite of the introduction of brick, steel, concrete .and 
other structural materials, we find that our per capita con- 
sumption of lumber to-day is twice as much as it was fifty 
years ago. Substitutes are welcomed in the forestry situa- 
tion but it is extremely doubtful if wood will ever cease to 
be a commodity of wide usefulness. 

It is only a natural sequence of the old economic law of 
supply and demand, that in the future,, brick, cement, struc- 
tural iron and other materials will take the place, to some 
extent, of wood. However, in the foregoing list wood used 
for general lumber and structural timber purposes comprised 
only 26 per cent of the whole lumber output. The remainder 
is used in an indefinite variety of ways, for which it is ex- 
tremely doubtful if substitutes will displace wood. 

In Germany substitutes for wood have been introduced 
wherever practical, and one finds nearly all the houses con- 
structed, on the exterior at least, of stone, brick, etc. Steel* 
has taken the place of wood for office furniture, bedsteads and 
bridges to a large extent. 

Even in this country, we have concrete posts and poles, 
and to some extent, steel cars, cement floors, etc., and as 
other materials become cheaper and wood more expensive, 
lumber will be somewhat displaced. 

But with the introduction of wood substitutes we are con- 
stantly finding new uses -for wood. For instance, it has been 
determined that, on account of its sanitary features, dura- 
bility and freedom from noise, wood block paving is superior 
to other forms of street paving. In the wood pulp industry 
the demands for wood are increasing very rapidly and new 
species are being introduced to supply the demand. 

The attempted use of steel and concrete ties has not been 


a success, due to the lack of resilience and elasticity peculiar 
to wood, that is, the steel or concrete ties are too hard and 
rigid. The steel ties corrode rather easily and both the steel 
and concrete ties involve a large initial expense. 

Minor Forest Industries. 

The following are classed as the minor forest industries : 

Wood Pulp. — Paper has been made from woody fibers 
ever since the papyrus was used for this purpose in ancient 
Egypt. But it is only within comparatively recent times that 
wood has been used on a large scale. Spruce now supplies 
about 60 per cent of all the wood used for paper. It is 
especially suited to this purpose because of its comparative 
freedom from resin, the length and strength of its fibers, and 
its softness and availability. 

Our spruce timber, however, is being rapidly cut off and 
many others are being introduced as follows: hemlock, pop- 
lar, balsam fir, white and yellow pines, beech, maple, white 
fir and the western spruces. Practically every important 
timber tree is now used, at least to some extent, in paper 
manufacture. The hardwoods and resinous conifers, however, 
only make the rougher and coarser grades of paper. 

About 4,300,000 cords of pulp wood are consumed annually. 
Canada now supplies over one-half of our spruce for this 
purpose. The leading states in the industry in order are: 
New York, Maine, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Penn- 
sylvania. New York consumes over 1,000,000 cords annu- 
ally. About $9 to $12 per cord are now being paid at the 
mills for spruce pulp wood. 

There are, in general, four methods of making pulp, as 
follows : 

1. The mechanical or ground pulp process: This is a 
mechanical process in which the wood fibers are ground up 


into pulp by pressing the bolts of wood against a revolving 
stone. The bark is always rossed off first in all methods. 
Spruce is the principal wood reduced by this process. 

2. The sulphite process consists of boiling small chips of 
wood in a large cylindrical digester, containing calcium sul- 
phite, for about sixty hours. Hemlock is reduced principally 
by this process. 

3. The soda process consists of boiling the chips in a 
digester, containing caustic soda, and bleaching with chlorate 
of lime. Practically all of the poplar is reduced by this 

4. The sulphate process can be used with pine, spruce or 
larch and consists of using sodium sulphate as a chemical and 
cooking in a digester as above. 

The principle involved in all methods is to grind or chip 
the pulp wood and reduce the wood fibers to a fluid pulp. 
Ground pulp is less interlaceable than the chemical pulp and 
contains lignin as well as cellulose. When paper made from 
mechanical pulp is exposed to the light, it turns a brownish 
or yellow color. Newspaper is composed of about 75 per cent 
ground pulp and 25 per cent of sulphite pulp. The best grades 
of book paper usually contain no ground pulp at all. 

By whatever process the pulp is made, it is washed and 
screened carefully and pressed into thick sheets which then 
go to the paper mill. 

In the paper mill the pulp is beaten up into a semi-fluid 
mass; resin, clay and other ingredients are added to give it 
body and added strength, and coloring matter is mixed in if 
desired. After being washed and screened it is passed through 
a long line of presses which gradually eliminate the moisture 
and dry out the paper. 

The manufacture of paper involves the investment of enor- 


mous sums of money for power development and machinery, 
much of which is highly specialized. 

The paper industry utilizes the raw product of the forest 
more completely than any of our wood-using industries. It 
also offers a splendid field for the utilization of the bi-products 
of other industries. At the present time about 280,000 cords 
of mill waste, in the form of slabs, edgings and other refuse, of 
the large sawmill are now used for paper pulp. They are 
converted into pulp by the sulphite process which uses the 
wood in the form of small chips and can therefore utilize mill 
waste to advantage. 

One cord of wood yields roughly about one ton of air- 
dried ground pulp or about one-half ton of chemical pulp. 
Some pulp mills consume as high as 200 cords of wood in 
a day. 

Wood Tannins. — The use of tannin, extracted from the 
bark and wood of certain species, in the manufacture of 
leather, by rendering the skins more durable, pliable and 
supple, has been in practice for a long time. In fact it is 
one of the oldest known industries. For sole and other heavy 
leathers, wood tannins are preferred, although this source of 
material is becoming so rapidly depleted that chemical tan- 
nins are being substituted to some extent. 

Wood tannins are mostly produced from hemlock bark, 
oak bark and chestnut wood. Over a million cords of bark 
worth S8 to $10 per cord and over 200,000 tons of chestnut 
wood worth about $30 per ton are used every year. Que- 
bracho, gambier, mangrove bark, myrobalan nuts and other 
tropical sources of tannin are now being imported into this 
country in considerable quantities. 

The following per cents of tannin are generally recognized 
as being contained in the following sources: 





Per cent. 

Eastern hemlock 

Dressed bark 
Dressed bark 
Dressed bark 
Dressed bark 



13- 1 

Western hemlock 

California tanbark oak 

Chestnut oak 






Hemlock and oak bark can only be peeled from the trees 
felled after the sap rises in the spring. Oak is best peeled in 
May, whereas hemlock can be easily peeled from May to 
September. Before hemlock lumber could be marketed profit- 
ably, enormous quantities of this species were felled in our 
eastern forests for the bark alone. As the bark is peeled, it is 
seasoned in the woods and shipped and sold by the cord, 
weighing about 2240 pounds. 

The average cost of marketing hemlock bark per cord is 
about as follows: 

Peeling and piling $2 . 50 

Hauling to the railroad and loading 1.50 

Railroad transportation o. 30 

Supervision . . : o. 35 

Total cost per cord $4 . 65 

A cord of hemlock bark usually brings between $6.50 and 
$7.50 delivered on the markets. 

An ordinary acre of hemlock forest running about 10,500 
board feet to the acre yields about 7 cords of bark. One 
cord of bark can therefore be secured from about 1500 board 
feet of standing timber. 

Naval Stores. — This industry covers the production of 
commercial spirits of turpentine and rosin by the distillation 
of the resinous exudation of certain species of pine, chiefly 
longleaf pine of the South. 



About 29,000,000 gallons of turpentine and 3,200,000 bar- 
rels of rosin, valued at over $2 5, 000,000, are produced an- 
nually. In many sections of the South, especially in Florida, 
it is the principal industry. After being tapped for three 
or four years under the present wasteful methods, the trees 
are logged. Tapping for turpentine does not injure the quality 
of the wood for lumber or other wood uses. 

Fig. 38. — A Turpentine Still on the Florida National Forest. 
They are used to distill the crude resin, collected from the longleaf pine, into 
turpentine. The residue after distillation is the rosin of commerce. 

To obtain the raw resin, the trees are first " boxed," which 
consists of cutting a collecting box into which the resin drains 
in the base of the trees. During the warm season, when the 
sap flows freely, at regular periods the bark is chipped in 
V-shaped strips so that the flow is continuous. This con- 
secutive chipping is carried up the tree as far as a man can 
reach with his " hack " and leaves the white face so common 
all over the South. There are sometimes three or four faces 
on a single tree, depending on its size. 

The crude resin is collected six or eight times during the 


season and sent to the still. Much of the resin does not flow 
down to the box and has to be scraped off. 

The still consists of a large copper kettle under which is a 
large fire box and a copper condenser or worm about 175 feet 
long. About ten barrels of crude resin are emptied into the 
kettle and after a fire is started it is boiled for three or 
four hours. The distillate from this process, after passing 
through the condenser, is called turpentine, a light, watery 
substance, which is barreled and shipped to the markets to 
be used for paints, varnishes, coloring and a great variety of 
chemicals and medicines. 

After the boiling process is finished, the residue in the kettle 
is carefully screened and poured out into barrels. This is 
the rosin which is graded according to its clarity and white- 
ness, and is used for glue, varnish, soap, soldering and the 
manufacture of sealing wax, etc. 

Dr. C. H. Herty has devised a new method in place of 
the old and wasteful way of tapping the trees which are so 
easily injured by fire getting into the boxes and being either 
burned completely or later thrown by the wind. Instead of 
cutting a box at the base of the tree, two incisions are 
made, into which are inserted galvanized iron gutters. These 
direct the flow of sap into earthen or metal cups hung on 
zinc nails. The chipping is carried up the tree as in the old 
method. Several variations of the Herty method have also 
been introduced. 

The advantages of the Herty or cup and gutter system are 
as follows: 

1. The yield is greater and better because the cups can be 
moved up the tree and very little is wasted in collecting. 
Less dirt and bark is gathered in using this method. 

2. It does not weaken the tree physically so there is less 
danger from wind throw. 

3. The danger from serious damage by fire is much less. 


Many operators in the South are now adopting this method. 
The only objection to it is the initial expense of purchasing 
and installing the cups and gutters. In the long run, how- 
ever, it has been demonstrated to be much more efficient and 

In Europe, Norway spruce and maritime pine are the native 
sources of naval store products. The latter is being intro- 
duced in this country with the view of perpetuating our 
vanishing supply. 

Cooperage. — Cooperage refers to the use of wood in the 
manufacture of receptacles and containers, such as barrels, 
kegs, casks and tubs. Tight cooperage is that kind used to 
hold or ship liquids, especially oil and tierce, wine and liquors, 
pork, etc. Up to the present time white oak is practically 
the only species used for tight cooperage because of its im- 
permeability and the fact that it does not impart any dis- 
agreeable odor or flavor to the contents. White oak, however, 
is becoming so scarce and expensive that other woods, such 
as red oak, red gum and cypress, are being introduced into 
the industry especially for heading. 

Slack cooperage is used largely for marketing agricultural 
products, such as vegetables and fruit, and for shipping flour, 
sugar, cement, crockery and a great variety of similar arti- 
cles. Availability and cheapness determine more than any- 
thing else the kinds of woods to be used for slack cooperage. 
However, woods which dry quickly, steam well and which 
do not contain oils, resin or other substances which may 
injure the contents are especially in demand for certain uses. 
The veneer barrel is coming rapidly into use. 

The following are the principal woods used for slack cooper- 
age staves: red gum, pine, beech, elm and chestnut. The 
following are used in order for heading: pine, red gum, beech, 
maple and oak. Elm is the only wood used for hoops. Sev- 


eral machines are used to manufacture the staves and heading 
which are often made in separate plants. They are then 
shipped and assembled where first placed in use. 

Slack cooperage offers a splendid field for the close utilization 
of forest products. Limbs, tops and defective logs are often 
used, and in many cases after logging is finished on a lumbered 
area, much material is gathered for staves and heading. 

There are about 1,300,000,000 staves, over 100,000,000 
sets of heading and 350,000,000 hoops used annually for 
slack cooperage. One set of heading, 15 staves and 6 hoops 
are usually used in the average slack cooperage barrel. 

Considerable waste is occasioned in the manufacture of 
tight cooperage, both in the woods and at the finishing plant. 
Only the best white oak is used. The staves are usually 
sawed, but many are also " bucked and split " in the woods 
or are hewed. Arkansas, Tennessee and Kentucky are the 
center of the industry. Enormous quantities of white oak 
are shipped to European points, especially France. About 
350,000,000 staves and 30,000,000 sets of heading are pro- 
duced for tight cooperage annually. 

Wood Distillation. — This industry comprises the utiliza- 
tion of certain products of the forest in the distillation of 
wood either by the destructive or steam process. The prin- 
cipal products of the industry are wood alcohol, acetate of 
lime, turpentine, tar and charcoal, and various chemical dis- 
tillates such as acetone, formaldehyde, wood ashes, pyrolig- 
neous acid, pyrolignite of iron and wood creosote. 

In the North where the industry has been mostly devel- 
oped, the hardwoods, principally beech, birch and maple, are 
used and the products are chiefly wood alcohol, acetate of 
lime, and charcoal. Over 1,550,000 cords of hardwoods are 
used annually and the principal states engaged in the in- 
dustry are Michigan, New York and Pennsylvania. 



In the South the industry is confined to the yellow pines, 
the principal products being turpentine, tar and creosote. 
Over 190,000 cords of softwoods are used annually and the 
industry is on the rapid increase especially in the South and 
in the Douglas fir region of the northwest. 

Fig. 39. — Retorts Used in the Wood Distillation Industry. 

The wood is placed in these air-tight ovens which are heated to high tempera- 
tures. The gases that pass off are collected and used as the basis of several 
wood chemicals. The residue, charcoal, was formerly made in the wasteful 
open air pits. 

Large quantities of limb wood, stumps and mill waste, in- 
cluding sawdust, slabs and defective material, are now being 
used in this industry so it is playing an important part in the 
closer and more effective utilization of the raw products of the 

The process consists largely of the dry distillation of wood, 


differing from the old method of charcoal burning in that the 
resultant gases that pass off are utilized instead of being 
allowed to escape in the air. For this purpose, the wood, 
after being thoroughly air-dried for about a year, is placed 
in long cylinders called retorts, usually about 30 to 40 feet 
long and 5 to 6 feet in height or diameter. The doors are 
clamped air-tight and the cylinders are heated to a high tem- 
perature. The gases that pass off in this heating process are 
led through condensers and utilized. The non-condensing 
gases are used for fuel in the boiler room. With conifers, tar 
forms at the bottom of the cylinders and is collected through 
a system of pipes. The condensible gases are further dis- 
tilled into the products mentioned above. 

One cord of beech will yield about 190 pounds of acetate of 
lime, 9 gallons of wood alcohol, 14 gallons of tar and about 
1000 pounds of charcoal. 

One cord of highly resinous wood, such as longleaf pine, will 
produce about 24 gallons of turpentine, 33 gallons of pyro- 
ligneous acid, 120 gallons of tarry and oil products and 56 
bushels of charcoal. 

Veneers. — Although not a minor forest industry in the 
same sense as the others, the manufacture of veneers has 
taken rapid strides during recent years and the industry has 
been of great service in effecting a more complete utilization 
of our forest products. A veneer plant is frequently main- 
tained in connection with a large lumber operation in the same 
manner as the naval stores, wood tannin, excelsior, and other 

Veneers are thin slices or sheets of wood. Formerly they 
were largely made of the fancy and more valuable woods, 
such as mahogany and walnut, to cover less valuable woods 
in the manufacture of furniture, cabinet work, etc. They 
were known and used even in old Roman times. At the 


present time, however, the demands for veneers are so great 
that cheapness and availability of supply determine the species 
that are used. 

They are used not only for all kinds of furniture and cabinet 
work, but for baskets and crates, cooperage, trunks, doors, 
musical instruments and many other uses where thin sheets 
of wood are required. Doors and furniture made of " built 
up " stock, that is, several layers of veneers with the grain 
running cross- ways, are stronger and less apt to crack and 

Veneers may be cut down to a thickness of j^-q of an inch 
but those less than fa of an inch are seldom used. They are 
principally cut in thickness of 2$ of an inch. For cooperage 
or other purposes of similar nature, they are cut to a thick- 
ness of \ inch or more. 

There are three different methods used in making veneers: 
(1) Rotary cut, (2) Sliced and (3) Sawed veneers. , 

Most of our veneers are rotary cut. With this method, a 
log is generally boiled for several hours in water, then set in 
a lathe and turned against a sharp knife. A continuous sheet 
is peeled off and cut up into desired sizes. The logs can be 
cut down to a diameter of about six inches. This core is 
then sawed up for box boards or other material. 

For slicing veneers, a special machine is provided to slice off 
sheets of any desired thickness either radially or tangentially. 
The knife is usually stationary, while the log or timber is 
sent against it in a vertical movement. At each shearing 
stroke the log is moved up the desired width. 

Sawed veneers are usually cut on a circular or band saw 
with a very narrow kerf, so that there will be the minimum 
amount of waste in sawdust. The most expensive veneers 
are made by this process. 

About 500,000,000 board feet of wood are used annually 



for veneers in this country, 
woods used in order: 

The following are the principal 


Per cent. 

Red gum 

Yellow pine 





Yellow poplar 


White oak 


All others 


Altogether a great variety of species are used for veneers. 
Mahogany, Circassian walnut and Spanish cedar are the 
principal imported woods used. 

Excelsior. — Excelsior is used for mattresses, upholstering, 
shipping a great variety of articles, such as glass-ware, furni- 
ture, crockery, metals, etc., for filtering purposes and to some 
extent for mattings and rugs. Wood wool is an especially 
fine grade of excelsior. 

The production of excelsior is on the rapid increase. Some 
of our large stores use as much as 35 tons per month. One 
toy company uses about 30 bales of 120 pounds each per day. 

Basswood makes the best excelsior because its wood is 
springy and soft and, when thoroughly dry, does not lose its 
elasticity. Cottonwood, poplar, white pine and buckeye are 
also used. The relative scarcity of these woods has caused 
the use, in addition, of yellow pine, yellow poplar, birch, red 
gum, spruce and maple. 

There is practically no waste in this industry. The peeled 
bolts are placed in frames which send the wood against sharp 
spurs or knives. These shred off the excelsior. This is gath- 
ered and packed in bales weighing from 100 to 125 pounds 


apiece. One standard cord of basswood will yield about 
1500 pounds of excelsior. 

Maple Syrup and Sugar. — All of the species of the maple 
family produce a sap that can be reduced to maple syrup or 
sugar, but only one, the sugar or hard maple (Acer saccharum), 
is of commercial importance. 

The practice was first learned from the Indians. They 
employed, however, very rough methods of both obtaining 
the sap from the tree and in boiling it down to a sugary sub- 

Although the sugar maple grows in practically every state 
east of the Mississippi River, best results for sugar and 
syrup seem to be secured in the northeastern states where 
the cold nights alternating with warm sunny days in the early 
spring seem to be conducive to the greatest flow of sap. 
Trees are first tapped about the middle of March and the flow 
continues to about April 15, depending upon the region. A 
hole about three-eighths inch is bored with an augur to a 
depth of about two inches and sloping to carry out the sap. 
A wooden or iron spiggot or spile is inserted in the hole which 
conducts the sap to a bucket hung on the spiggot or suspended 
from a nail. Two holes are usually bored in each tree and 
new holes are made each year, the old ones usually healing 
over. The sap is gathered from time to time and taken to 
the sugar house. Formerly the sap was boiled down in a 
large kettle over an open fire in the woods. In connection 
with the large sugar orchards, large evaporators are now 
maintained with the heat often furnished through steam 
pipes. This method results in a greater and much cleaner 

The " sugar bush " is an important part of nearly every 
woodlot in the maple sugar region, namely Vermont, New 
Hampshire, Northern New York and Northern Ohio, and con- 


siderable revenue is obtained from this source. The industry 
has been discredited to a considerable extent in some places 
by the introduction of substitute flavoring extracts and of 
diluting materials. Vermont protects the industry through 
a system of state inspection. 

A good healthy tree will often produce 25 gallons of sap per 
season. It requires about 12 gallons to make two pounds of 
sugar or one quart of syrup. The sugar is made from the 
syrup by simply boiling it down to a consistency of wax, when 
it will crystallize after being poured into forms. 

Most of our sugar orchards are maintained in poor condi- 
tion, in that cattle are allowed to graze in them, preventing a 
renewal of productive trees from the young stock. Other 
species should also be removed to give all the growing space 
to sugar maples. Too many or too large holes should not be 
bored in the trees to get the best results. The tapping of 
the trees for sap, if done conservatively, does not seem to 
injure the health or growing power of the trees. 

Miscellaneous. — Besides the above wood using industries, 
there are a great number of less importance. Among them 
may be mentioned the furniture, box board and wooden 
novelty industries, the spool, shuttle and bobbin works, the 
vehicle and implement industries, the toy industry, etc., all 
of which use large quantities of wood. For instance, in Wis- 
consin, 25,000,000 board feet of basswood alone are consumed 
annually for just woodenware. These, however, are purely 
industrial enterprises and are merely a matter of general 
interest to the forestry profession. 

Methods of Securing Closer Utilization. 

In the Woods. — American lumbermen are rapidly learn- 
ing and appreciating the benefits to be derived from the 
closer utilization of the raw products of the forest. 


The first step taken was to lower the stump cut. The 
Forest Service requires a maximum height of sixteen inches 
and in some cases twelve inches on the National Forests. 
Sometimes the rule of cutting the stumps at a height equal to 
the diameter breast high is followed. On the Pacific Coast 
stumps were formerly cut from a spring board at a height of 
from six to twenty or more feet, thereby losing the best timber 
in the tree. 

Lumbermen are also cutting closer in the tops. Formerly, 
logs were cut to a minimum diameter of eight or twelve inches 
in the tops. Now white pine is commonly cut down to five 
inches in the tops and practically all species in the East are 
cut to a six inch top diameter. 

Skidways, corduroys, roads and camps formerly made from 
the most available trees are now being constructed of tops, 
limbs and inferior species. A great saving is possible on 
some operations in this respect alone. 

Special industries for the use of tops, branches, defective 
logs, etc., are being introduced in connection with large lum- 
ber operations to utilize all of the available material, such, 
for example, as wood distillation and slack cooperage plants 
to use short pieces, and material down to six inches in diam- 
eter; wood pulp plants to use both woods and mill waste 
and charcoal pits. 

At the Mill. — A great economy at the mill in saving former 
wood waste is in the use of improved machinery. The band 
saw, especially, has effected a great saving in sawdust alone 
since it cuts a kerf of about one-eighth of an inch, as against 
a kerf of three-eighths of an inch to one-half inch for the old 
circular saws. Improved re-saws, edgers and trimmers have 
also helped in turning out both more and better lumber. 

However, the greatest saving at the mill has been the uti- 
lization of the slabs, edgings and trimmings that were formerly 


sent to the burner and wasted. Most of our large sawmills 
already use their slabs for the manufacture of lath from soft- 
wood stock. Hardwood slabs are gradually being utilized 
for the turning out of small squares and short pieces to be used 
for furniture stock, brush backs, handles, wooden ware, novel- 
ties, and toys, etc. 

Some of our waste from chestnut lumber is being utilized 
for tanning extract. Waste from coniferous mills is being 
used for making wood pulp. In the year 191 2, 280,000 cords 
of mill waste were used in this way. 

Other mill waste is being used for wood distillation. Even 
the sawdust not required for the boilers to supply power to 
the mill, is sometimes shipped for use in ice packing, shipping 
brittle wares and stable bedding. Mills near populated sec- 
tions are selling their mill waste to advantage for fuel pur- 

Considerable economy is also being brought about by im- 
proved methods of seasoning lumber liable to warp and check, 
such as dry kilns and steaming processes. 


Brown, Nelson C. Utilization at the Menominee Indian Mills, Neopit, 

Wise. Forestry Quarterly No. 3, Vol. X, 191 2. 
Bureau of the Census, Washington, D. C. The following statistical circu- 
lars: — 

Lumber, Lath and Shingles, Pulp-wood consumption, Slack cooperage, 
Tight cooperage, Wood distillation, Veneers, Wood tannins, 
Cross-ties and Poles. 
Clapp, E. H. Conservative Logging. Report of National Conservation Com- 
mission, Senate Document 676, 60th Congress, 2nd Session, 1909. Pages 
Cline, McGarvey. The Lumbermen and the Wood Using Industries. Proc. 

Soc. of Am. Foresters, No. 2, Vol. VIII, 1913- Pa S e x 54- 
Peters, J. G. Waste in Logging Southern Yellow Pine. Yearbook of U. S. 
Dept. of Agr., 1905. Pages 483-494- 




Every species varies in its wood structure and it is this 
difference that we depend upon to identify our various woods. 

A study of wood structure, together with the physical, 
mechanical and chemical properties, determine the uses to 
which each species is adapted. For example, we know that 
some trees, like chestnut, oak, and longleaf, are durable and 
are therefore used for railroad ties; Douglas fir is strong and 
stiff and makes a good construction timber; spruce has long 
strong fibers and is comparatively free from resin and so is 
used for paper pulp; mahogany seasons well and does not 
warp or twist and has a beautiful grain, all of which make it 
of especial value for fine furniture and cabinet work; elm is 
tough and therefore makes a good vehicle and hoop wood; 
white oak is impervious to liquids and does not impart a dis- 
agreeable odor or flavor and so makes a desirable tight cooper- 
age wood. 

Each wood has certain characteristics which distinguish it 
from others in color, weight, grain, strength, stiffness, etc. 
These characteristics determine the value of every wood for 
the various lines of utilization and therefore to a large extent, 
together with their available supply, their value on our timber 

Some of our species are becoming so rapidly depleted that 
substitutes are being introduced to take their places. In 



some cases, ingenious methods have been devised to imitate 
the grain and color of our more valuable woods. For example, 
red gum, a comparatively cheap wood, is largely used to imi- 
tate black walnut and Circassian walnut. In England it 
sells as satin walnut. Red birch is sold to a considerable 
extent as mahogany in furniture and cabinet work, and many 
new foreign species are being imported and sold as the true 
mahogany. A new method of graining cheap woods to imi- 
tate quartered white oak is now in common use. 

The knowledge of wood structure is therefore vastly im- 
portant in identifying the many different species that enter 
our American markets, both foreign and domestic species. 

One of the matters of especial interest in wood technology is 
the chemical utilization of the enormous quantities of wood 
waste incident to our present methods of logging and lumber 
manufacture. New methods are being constantly devised to 
produce gases and distillates in commercial quantities from 
several of our timber trees. In Germany, cattle food has 
been made for some time from sawdust; new processes are 
being discovered in the chemical reduction of wood fibers for 
the manufacture of paper pulp, and improved methods of 
chemical distillation open up a large field for future develop- 

Wood Structure. 

Wood structure and arrangement of the woody tissues 
may be said to underlie the principles that govern both 
the means of identification and the uses to which our woods 
are put. 

Structure refers to the relative size, shape and form of the 
wood elements peculiar to each tree. It explains why some 
species are heavier, stronger and stiffer than others, why 
some are cross or straight grained, hard or soft, and why 



some have a tendency to check and split, while others season 
rapidly and without injury. The structure of the oak with 
its wide medullary rays explains why it has such a pleasing 
effect when this species is quarter sawed and polished to 
bring out the grain. 

Bark. — The bark serves chiefly as a protective covering. 
It usually forms from 7 to 15 per cent of the whole contents 

Fig. 40. — Wood Sections of Red Oak (Quercus Rubra). 

A typical ring porous wood. On the right is a transverse or cross section, 
in the center, a radial section, and on the left, a tangential section. Note the 
medullary rays and the spring and summer wood. 

of the stem. It is much thinner on young than on old trees 
and is much thicker at the base than farther up the tree. 
There are successive layers of bark in the same way that 
successive layers of wood are laid on each year, but they are 
very indistinct. 

The bark often serves as a means of identification. It is 
very thin in the spruces, cedars, birches, cypress, larch, long- 


leaf pine, etc. It is usually thick in the case of Douglas fir, 
white pine, yellow poplar, redwood and some of the oaks. 

The bark of many trees is of high value. For example, 
the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber) of southern Europe 
supplies our cork of commerce; the bark of the hemlocks and 
most of the oaks is of high value for tanning purposes. Birch 
bark was formerly used for canoes; other barks are of high 
medicinal or fuel value. The fibrous inner bark of basswood 
is often used in the manufacture of fiber cloth, rough carpets 
and mattings. 

Sapwood and Heartwood. — Inside the bark is the sapwood, 
usually light in color, varying in width from one-half inch 
to several inches. Within the sapwood and in the center of 
the tree is the heartwood, usually much darker in color. 

The heartwood has practically no other function than that 
of mechanical support. On the other hand, the sapwood is a 
living part of the tree, serving largely to store up the starch 
and to conduct the unelaborated sap from the roots up to the 
leaves. The extreme outer periphery of the sapwood is called 
the cambium, where the growth of the tree in diameter takes 
place by cell division during the growing season. 

In young trees the percentage of sapwood is the greatest. 
It varies, however, with the species. The following species 
have thin sap as a rule: redwood, catalpa, locust, red cedar 
and yew. The following generally have wide sap: hickory, 
maple, ash, beech and some of the pines. In some species, 
such as cottonwood, willow, spruce, fir and hemlock, there is 
little, difference in appearance between heart and sapwood. 

The darker color of the heart is usually caused by the dep- 
osition of tannin, gums, resins, etc., and therefore the heart- 
wood is heavier, more durable, and contains less moisture. 
These often render it the most valuable portion of the tree. 
In some cases, however, for handles, spokes, spools and certain 


other wooden articles, only sapwood is used as in the case of 
hickory for handle stock. Sapwood can be impregnated much 
more readily with chemical preservatives and in the natural 
state seasons with much difficulty. It is much more suscep- 
tible to decay, owing to its greater moisture content. 

Annual Rings and Grain. — Grain refers to the direction 
and width of the growth rings. Sawed boards are often 
cross-grained because the line of the saw cut does not follow 
the grain. This explains why split wood is stronger than 
sawed wood. Therefore bolts for manufacture into spokes, 
handles, tight cooperage, etc., are preferably split rather than 

Species with wide pith or medullary rays, such as oak, beech, 
and sycamore, yield a beautiful silver grain when sawed radi- 
ally, or at right angles to the annual rings. Wavy and curly 
grain are common variations in the growth of many of our 
species, especially hard maple and yellow birch. 

As explained in previous chapters, the width of the annual 
rings depends upon the species, conditions of growth, etc. 
All trees grow relatively fast in the spring and slowly toward 
the end of the growing season. The wood elements are 
therefore much coarser during the first part of each year's 
growth. This gives rise to the differentiation between spring 
and summer wood. This is brought out very markedly in 
the southern pines and in Douglas fir. The spring wood is 
light in weight and in color, whereas the summer wood is 
dark in color and heavy, giving the common ribbed appear- 
ance of these woods when cut across the grain. This can also 
be readily seen in any flat grained lumber of nearly every 

Hardwood Versus Coniferous Wood. — Custom has been 
responsible for calling all our broadleaved trees, hardwoods, 
and all our evergreens, conifers. These, however, are mis- 



nomers in both interpretations because there are certain coni- 
fers, like larch and cypress, which are not evergreen since they 
are deciduous and drop their leaves in the fall. Then, too, 
many of our hardwoods are much softer in their wood struc- 
ture than certain conifers or so-called softwoods and vice versa. 
For instance, softwoods, like larch, longleaf pine and Douglas 
fir, are much harder than so-called hardwoods, like basswood, 
willow, cottonwood, yellow poplar, buckeye and red gum. 
These terms are therefore merely for classification. 

Fig. 41. — Wood Sections of Birds-eye Maple (Acer Saccharum). 

A typical diffuse porous wood. On the right is a cross section, in the center 
a radial section, and on the left a tangential section. 

Another means of classification for the purposes of identifi- 
cation is according to the porous nature of the various woods. 

On examination, in cross section, even under the microscope, 
it is found that the pores of the softwoods or conifers are not 
visible or conspicuous. Further classification of the genera 


and species is by means of the resin ducts, color, odor, taste, 
appearance of heartwood, etc. The hardwoods are divided 
into two broad groups: (1) Those that are ring porous, such 
as oak, ash, hickory, elm, chestnut, catalpa, and (2) Those 
that are diffuse porous, such as red gum, yellow poplar, 
willow, birch, maple, basswood and beech. The ring porous 
woods are those with a wide band of large pores in the spring 
wood. The diffuse porous woods are more homogeneous and 
continuous in their structure and texture. 

Altogether about 80 per cent of our lumber cut is coniferous 
and it is used largely for construction and general lumber 
purposes. The hardwoods are used principally in specialized 
lines of utilization, such as furniture, cabinet work, vehicle and 
implement stock, and fine interior finish and flooring. 


General. — The percentage of moisture represented in the 
total weight of green wood is between 50 and 60 per cent. 
Most of our thoroughly seasoned lumber contains from 15 to 
20 per cent of moisture. The immediate object of seasoning 
wood is principally to reduce the moisture content. 

The reduction of the moisture content and therefore the 
ultimate objects of seasoning may be summarized as follows: 

1. To decrease the danger from decay and therefore in- 
crease the durability of the wood. 

2. To prevent warping, twisting, checking and shrinkage 
after the wood is placed in service. 

3. To increase the strength and stiffness of wood. 

4. To decrease its weight and therefore save on shipping 

When green, wood is very susceptible to fungous and insect 


Air seasoning is the usual method of decreasing the water 
content in wood. For the best grades of lumber, however, 
kiln drying or various steaming processes have been intro- 
duced to artificially hasten drying. 

The rapidity of seasoning varies with: 

i. The structure of the wood. 

2. The size and shape of the wood. 

3. The method of seasoning and piling, and the condition 
of the atmosphere. 

Thus inch lumber dries four times as rapidly as four inch 
stock. White pine dries faster than oak on account of the 
difference in structure and density. Conifers usually require 
from two to five months for air seasoning whereas hardwoods 
require from six to ten months. 

In dry kilns, temperatures of from 150 to 180 degrees Fah- 
renheit are usually used, and only a few days are ordinarily 
required for the drying process. Lumber, however, is cus- 
tomarily air seasoned for a while before being dry kilned. 

Sawed lumber dries more readily than planed lumber be- 
cause of the greater areal surface exposed in the former case. 

Lumber is usually piled in the direction of the prevailing 
wind so that the drafts of air will take out the moisture laden 
air in the alleys most readily. 

Weight of Wood. — The various species vary a great deal 
in weight. Most woods float in water because they are 
lighter than the water which they displace. But this is so 
because of the air contained in the wood. When these air 
spaces are filled by water in the case of driving and rafting, 
the logs become " water logged " and sink. This is explained 
by the fact that wood substance is about 1.6 times as heavy 
as water, and this holds true of such light woods as poplar 
and basswood, as well as for heavy oaks or pine. Weight, 



therefore, depends upon the number of wood fibers and the 
thickness of their walls. 

Weight is very important in identifying woods and in de- 
termining their usefulness for various purposes. Fuel value 
is in direct ratio with weight. The transportation of logs from 
the woods to the mill by driving is made possible by their 
relative floatability. This explains why driving cannot be 
practiced in logging hardwoods. In transporting logs or lum- 
ber, weight is an important factor in the cost of the operation. 

The weight of wood is usually expressed in terms of specific 
gravity, that is, its relation to the weight of an equal volume 
of water weighed at a temperature of 4 degrees Centigrade. 
A cubic foot of pure water usually should be 62.43 pounds. 
Very few species of trees even approach this weight. 

The following table gives the specific gravity of some of 
our common timbers according to Sargent: 







Lignum vitae 

1. 14 



Western larch 


Mockernut hickory. . . 

Longleaf pine 

Eastern larch 


White oak 

Loblolly pine. . 


Hard maple 


White ash 

W T hite elm 

Black gum 

Douglas fir 

Western yellow pine 

Southern cypress 

Sitka spruce 

Eastern helmlock 

Black walnut 

Amabilis fir 


Lodgepole pine 

Incense cedar 

Western white pine 

Eastern white pine 

Balsam fir 

Western red cedar 

Northern white cedar 

Big tree (redwood) 


0. 29 

Red gum 

Black cherry 




Black willow 

Yellow poplar 


Black cottonwood 


The above list shows how much heavier, as a rule, the hard- 
woods are than the conifers, together with the great variation 
in weight in each class. 

Shrinkage. — Moisture in wood is found in three distinct 
places; namely, in the cell contents, in the cell walls them- 
selves, and in the intercellular spaces. Therefore when this 
moisture is released there is a consequent shrinkage in 
volume as well as in weight. 

If wood was a uniformly homogeneous material, this 
shrinkage would be of minor importance because it would 
simply result in smaller size. But wood is made up of 
many complex elements. For example, there is heart- and 
sapwood, spring and summer wood, and pith or medullary 
rays, all of which vary in their tendencies in the process 
of drying. 

When the top of a freshly cut board is exposed to the sun, 
it dries more rapidly than the lower surface with the result 
that there is greater shrinkage on the top surface and warping 
for a given area ensues. Another illustration is found in the 
fact that wood dries from the end more rapidly than from a 
side face; therefore there is shrinkage and frequently splitting 
or checking near the end due to the unequal drying process. 
Uneven or too rapid seasoning, therefore, results in checking, 
warping and twisting. 

Wood shrinks very little along the grain and considerably 
across the grain. Again, a plain sawed board will shrink 
about twice as much in width as a quarter sawed board. 

Roth has determined that for every hundred inches in 
width, boards of light conifers, such as white pine, spruce and 
cedar, will shrink about three inches; those of ash, walnut, 
beech, elm and maple about five inches; those of basswood, 
birch and chestnut about six inches; and hickory, young oak 
and eucalyptus will shrink from six to ten inches. 


Cross-grained woods exhibit great irregularities in shrinkage 
and therefore considerable difficulty is experienced in season- 
ing eucalyptus, elm, black and red gum, beech and a few 

Mechanical Properties. 

Strength. — As applied to timbers, strength is a general 
term used in reference to the ability of wood to resist certain 
stresses. On investigation it is found that different woods 
vary quite materially in these respects. 

The principal resistant features that go to make up strength 

1. Resistance to compression along the fibers, as in the 
case of pillars, and dimension timbers in an upright position. 

2. Stiffness or the ability to resist bending, as in the case 
of floor joists and beams supporting heavy loads. 

3. Strength in tension or the ability to resist a lengthwise 
stress. Wood is seldom put to this test. 

4. Shearing strength or the ability of the fibers to resist 
rupture either with or across the grain. As an example, the 
shear of a wooden pin in a mortise. 

Moisture is an important factor in the strength of wood. 
Therefore, to a certain extent, strength increases with the 
degree of seasoning. Freshly cut or green timber consequently 
must be seasoned before being used wherever any strength 
factors are necessary. 

Knots or other defects also influence the strength to a con- 
siderable degree. The size, character and location, however, 
of the knots are of importance. For example, in cross bend- 
ing strength, knots on the upper surface of a beam do not 
detract from the strength nearly as much as on the lower part 
of the beam. 

2 24 


Weight of the wood is also important. Heavy woods are 
usually of strong structure. 

The following are examples of commonly used woods of 
relative strength as expressed in its several different applica- 
tions. The strongest all around woods are longleaf pine, 
larch, hickory, hard maple, yellow birch, white oak and black 

Fig. 42. — Cross Section of Black Oak (Quercus Velutina). 

Magnified 50 diameters. This shows the large pores in the spring wood and 
the heavier and denser summer wood. Note parts of two growth rings and 
the line demarking them. 

locust. Those of medium strength are cypress, Douglas fir, 
ash, beech, red oak, chestnut and sycamore. Some of our 
weakest woods, in this respect, are white and other soft pines, 
hemlock, spruce, basswood, yellow poplar, cottonwood and 
the western firs. 

Hardness. — Woods vary a great deal in their hardness, 
which may be expressed as resistance to indentation or to the 
saw or axe across grain. Hardness is dependent largely on 



weight, structure of the wood elements and degree of season- 
ing. This feature is important in several lines of utilization, 
such as flooring, furniture, handles and many small wooden 

The following list shows the relative hardness of some of 
our more common species in the seasoned form. 

Very hard. 




Very soft. 

Hard maple 
Black locust 
Rock elm 
Osage orange 


Black gum 
Longleaf pine 


Douglas fir 
Red gum 
White elm 

Western pine 



Yellow poplar 



White pine 

Sugar pine 





Cleavability. — The resistance of wood to cleavage along 
the grain is important when it is desirable to split timbers. 
The line of least resistance in cleavage is along the radius 
because the medullary rays are in that direction. Wood 
splits much easier when wet because moisture softens the 
fibers and reduces adhesion across the grain. Straightness 
in the grain, however, determines to a large degree the ease 
with which wood splits. 

The following list shows the relative splitting qualities of 
some of our woods: 

Difficult to split. 


Easy to split. 




Black gum 


All pines 










Red gum 


Western larch 

Altogether most of our woods are comparatively easy to 


Miscellaneous. — Other mechanical properties that may 
be mentioned are flexibility and toughness. For example, 
hickory and ash are flexible, whereas hemlock and pine are 
brittle. Moisture content influences flexibility to a consid- 
erable degree. 

Toughness refers to the combined strength and pliability 
of a wood. Good examples of tough woods are elm and 
hickory which offer high resistance to both tension and 

Chemical Properties. 

General. — As expressed before, wood is very complex in 
its structure and each species varies both in its physical and 
chemical characteristics. 

The field of chemical utilization of our forest products has 
scarcely been touched, in so far as the possibilities are con- 

Wood dried at 300 degrees Fahrenheit is made up of about 
99 per cent of organic matter and about 1 per cent of inor- 
ganic matter. The inorganic elements make up the ash 
when wood is burned. At the above temperature, according 
to Roth, wood is made up of the following: 

Per cent. 

Carbon 49 

Hydrogen 6 

Oxygen 44 


Among the other elements found to a small extent are 
nitrogen, potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. 

Ordinary seasoned wood or lumber contains, in weight, 
about 25 per cent of water, 74 per cent of wood substance 
and 1 per cent of ash. 

The wood itself consists of a skeleton of cellulose which 
contains in the different species varying degrees of lignin, 


tannin, resins, gums, etc. Cellulose and lignin are readily 
converted into starch and also sugar. Although an expensive 
method, sawdust is now being converted into sugar for ani- 
mal food and it is already an important source of vinegar. 

In the chapter on Utilization, the wood distillation industry 
is briefly described. 

Durability. — As applied to wood, durability means the 
ability to resist decay or simply the length of life of a certain 
timber under given conditions. Durability is important in 
connection with those lines of usage where wood is especially 
susceptible to decay, such as railroad ties, poles, posts, mine 
timbers and piling. Durability may also include the influ- 
ence of mechanical wear but this is relatively unimportant 
except in the case of ties. 

The durability of the different species is very often the 
determinant factor in their value for several lines of utiliza- 
tion, especially in the case of timbers in contact with the soil, 
weather and water when used untreated. 

Contrary to popular opinion, wood does not naturally de- 
cay. All decay in wood is caused by the work of fungi and 
bacteria which live on the starch and other material in the 
wood cells and cause the wood structure to break down, leav- 
ing the common dry rot, punk, blueing and rottenness in our 
timbers. The fungi are spread about by minute seed-like 
bodies, called spores, which are scattered about readily by the 

Fungi live and propagate and therefore decay is possible 
only whenever the following necessary conditions are present: 

1. Sufficient heat. 

2. Moisture in proper amount. 

3. Oxygen. 

4. Spores of proper fungi or bacteria. 


Whenever any or all of these are removed, decay is not 
possible and, therefore, wood will last indefinitely. For ex- 
ample, some old piling that Caesar used in crossing certain 
rivers of France about two thousand years ago has recently 
been exposed and found to be in splendid condition. Irish 
bog oak is still sound because of the presence of acids in 
the logs and because air has been absent as it lay for centu- 
ries underneath the soil. Furniture seldom decays because 
moisture is absent and the wood finish prevents the entrance 
of fungi. For the same reason, we paint our houses and arti- 
ficially inject poisonous antiseptic fluids into the wood fibers 
of ties, posts, poles, etc., to prevent the destructive work of 
the wood decaying fungi. A post rots at the surface of the 
ground first because at that point there are the greatest 
changes of moisture and heat. Sapwood is more susceptible 
to decay than heartwood because of its greater percentage of 
moisture and food for fungi and bacteria. 

In the living tree the bark acts as a protective covering 
against decay, but whenever a fissure or crack is exposed or a 
limb is broken off, a splendid opportunity is offered for the 
entrance of the fungi. 

There does not apparently seem to be any direct relation 
between the physical and mechanical properties of wood and 
its durability. As an illustration, weight, strength, stiffness, 
hardness or toughness do not seem to have any influence on 
the durability of any of our woods. Some of these properties, 
however, aid in the prevention of injurious effects of abrasion 
or mechanical wear. Two of our heaviest woods, hickory 
and hard maple, are not durable, whereas some of our lightest 
woods in weight, such as redwood, white cedar and catalpa, 
are very durable. Red cedar, a soft wood, is highly durable, 
whereas beech, a hard wood, is distinctly perishable. 

There is, however, usually a definite relation between the 



color of the hcartwood and the durability of many of our 
woods. The darker the heart, the more durable is the wood, 
especially in the case of ebony, lignum vitae, catalpa, red 
cedar, black locust, osage orange and several others. Many 
of our species with light colored heartwood, such as bass- 
wood, maple, hickory, spruce and tupelo, are very perishable. 

The durability of any species depends, therefore, on certain 
chemical constituents, such as resins, gums, tannin and other 
decay resisting materials. These happen to give a dark dis- 
coloration to the heartwood of several of our species so that 
this explains the relation of color to durability. 

Rapidity of growth, within a species, is an important factor 
in its durability, but as between species, there is no direct 
inference. As an example, rapid growing species, such as 
black locust, chestnut and catalpa, are durable as well as 
such slow growing species as cypress, longleaf pine, western 
larch and the cedars. 

The following table shows the relative durability of some of 
our more common species: 

Very durable. 




Very perishable. 

Black locust 

White oak 

White pine 

White elm 

Black gum 

Red cedar 

Black ash 

Norway pine 



Live oak 


Shortleaf pine 



Black walnut 

Red elm 

Red oak 

Hard maple 

Paper birch 



Red ash 

Red gum 


Western red cedar 

Longleaf pine 

Yellow poplar 

White ash 



Western larch 


Loblolly pine 


White cedar 

Eastern larch 

Sugar pine 


Lodgepole pine 


Yellow birch 



Brown, Nelson C. An Analysis of Durability. Hardwood Record, March 

25. IN- 
CLINE, McGarvey. Strength Values for Structural Timbers. U. S. Forest 
Service Circular 189. 


Fernow, B. E. Timber Physics. Parts I and II, U. S. Forest Service, Bulle- 
tin 8. 

Forest Service Circular 15, Summary of Mechanical Tests on Thirty-two 
American Woods. 

Record, S. J. Economic Woods of the United States. John Wiley and Sons. 
Grade and Texture in Wood. Forest Quarterly No. 1, Vol. IX, 1911. 

Record, S. J. The Mechanical Properties of Wood. John Wiley and Sons, 

Roth, Filibert and B. E. Fernow. Timber: An Elementary Discussion, 
etc. Division of Forestry, Bulletin 10. 



History and Importance. 

Ever since ancient Roman times, various methods of arti- 
ficially treating wood to prolong its life have been used. At 
first charring timbers to prevent decay in the ground was 
used. Painting the surface of the wood was also frequently 
resorted to. 

The idea of injecting chemical preservatives into the wood 
fibres dates back to 1657 when Glauber, a German chemist 
of Carlstadt, carried on the first successful experiments. 
Since that time, the industry has taken wonderful strides and 
many methods are now in use to prolong the life of timbers 
most subject to decay, such as ties, posts, poles, piling, mine 
timbers and construction timbers, wood blocks for paving, 

In this country, the first successful timber treating plant 
was established at Lowell, Mass., in 1848, and it is still in 

Wood preservation is really a means of more intensely uti- 
lizing the products of the forest, because if we can increase 
the life of certain timbers by artificial and reasonably cheap 
methods, it will decrease the demands for wood supplies and 
therefore play an important part in our forest economy. 

The annual loss of wood supplies due to decay amounts to 
over seven billion board feet or over 70 per cent of all the 
causes of wood destruction. Another pertinent fact is that 




our more durable species, such as white oak, cedar, black 
locust, and cypress, are rapidly disappearing and we are being 
forced to use inferior species which, in many cases, by a cheap 
preservative treatment, can be made to last longer than the 
more durable species in their natural condition. 

In 1885 there were only three pressure plants in this 

The importance of the industry can be at once seen from 
the following amounts, conservatively estimated, that are 
now being treated annually: 




Paving blocks 


Piling. . . . 

33,000,000 pieces 
2,800,000 square yards 
2,000,000 lineal feet 

11,000,000 lineal feet 

Besides this, large quantities of fence posts, mine timbers, 
cross arms and construction timbers are treated every year. 
Ninety per cent, however, of treated timbers is composed of 
railroad ties, expressed in volume of wood. 

This industry obviously, then, consumes enormous amounts 
of chemical preservatives. The favorite all around chemical 
is creosote oil, a product of the distillation of either coal or 
wood tars. In 191 2, 83,000,000 gallons of creosote were used 
in this industry besides about 20,000,000 gallons of zinc chlo- 
ride and 3,000,000 gallons of other preservatives among which 
may be mentioned crude petroleum, copper sulphate, mercuric 
chloride, several patent chemicals and others of less impor- 

The measure of good preservative may be summed up as 
follows : 

1 . It must be available and reasonably cheap. 


2. It must be antiseptic and poisonous to wood decaying 

3. It must not readily evaporate or leach out of the wood 

Principal Methods. 

The methods pursued in wood preservation may be classi- 
fied as follows: 

1. Pressure or cylinder processes. 

2. Open tank process. 

3. Brush treatment. 

The impregnation of wood by injecting chemical preserva- 
tives into the wood under pressure in large cylinders is the 
method used with ties, paving blocks and to some extent 
with other forms of timbers. It is, therefore, by far the most 
important. The open tank treatment is used with poles and 
posts usually for treating that portion most subject and liable 
to decay. The brush treatment is largely applied to shingles, 
posts, poles and farm timbers and is relatively of little im- 

Pressure or Cylinder Process. — There are a great many 
variations of the pressure process, depending largely on the 
preservative used, its adaptability to the species treated, the 
penetration desired, etc. Many of them have been patented 
and are known by trade names. 

The principal and most common method followed, however, 
is the Bethell or Burnettizing process. When used with 
creosote, it is called the Bethell process, and with zinc chlo- 
ride, it is called the Burnettizing process. The following is a 
brief description of the method. 

The timber to be treated, usually ties, is first seasoned 
for from three to ten months. It is placed on iron trucks, 



called " cylinder buggies," and pushed on the tracks from the 
yards directly into huge horizontal cylinders about six to eight 
feet in diameter and up to one hundred and fifty feet in length. 
These cylinders are constructed to withstand high pressure 
and the heavy doors are hermetically sealed. At first live 
steam is introduced into the cylinder and a pressure of about 

Fig. 43. — High-pressure Cylinders used in Treating Ties, Oak- 
land, California. 

Ties are run into the cylinders on trucks and impregnated with creosote or 
other preservatives to increase their durability. 

twenty pounds per square inch maintained for several hours, 
depending on the species, their size and moisture content. 
This steaming softens the wood fibers and opens up the 
pores in the wood. The steam is then led off and a vacuum 
applied. This exhausts the air in both the cylinder and the 
wood structure itself and prepares the way for the penetra- 
tion of the preservative fluid. The vacuum is maintained 



for about one-half hour, after which, without reducing the 
vacuum pressure, the preservative, either creosote or zinc 
chloride, is run into the cylinder at a temperature of from 
170 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit and pressure pumps exerted 
to force the fluid into the wood fibers. The amount of fluid 
injected depends upon the species and the amount desired 
in the tie. The pressure is then released and, in some cases, 
a vacuum is again applied to draw out the excess fluid and 
hasten the drying process. The ties are then drawn out of 
the cylinder on the trucks and piled in the yards to dry out 
until wanted in the tracks. 

The Rueping, Card, Lowry and other more or less impor- 
tant processes are in common use but they are all variations 
of the same pressure treatment. 

The following table published by the Forest Service illus- 
trates to best advantage the results of the treatment of rail- 
way ties as compared with untreated service. 

Estimated Life of Untreated and Treated Ties. 


Longleaf pine 


Douglas fir 


Western pine 

White pine 

Lodgepole pine 

Tamarack and hemlock 
Red oaks and beech. . . . 



Loblolly pine 

life in 

Treated with 

10 pounds of 

creosote per 

cubic foot, 





Treated with 

0.5 pound of 

zinc chloride 

per cubic foot, 


(not used) 

Such naturally durable woods as black locust, redwood, 
cedar, cypress and white oaks are not shown in the above 


table because they will last under average conditions for from 
eight to twenty years and are therefore seldom treated. All 
the above estimates are based on the use of tie plates in the 
maintenance of the railway track. 

The cost of treating ties varies with the method used, the 
species, character of heart and sapwood and degree of pene- 
tration. With some species both heart and sapwood are 
easily saturated with a full penetration; with others, only 
the sap can be successfully treated. 

The cost of treating with creosote is usually about twice 
that with zinc chloride but the extra cost is evidently justified 
in the extra service rendered by creosoted ties in the long 
run. For instance with maple, using the above tabulated 
figures, the cost of creosote treatment is 37 cents per tie and 
of zinc chloride only 17 cents, but the annual saving over 
untreated ties is 0.136 cent per tie with creosote as against 
0.126 cent for zinc chloride, taking into consideration the 
original cost, as well as the cost of treating the ties. Zinc 
chloride, however, is highly successful in dry regions where 
this preservative does not leach out. 

Open Tank Process. — The open tank treatment is used 
mostly with posts and poles. Farmers and users of electric 
light and telephone poles are finding that the prices of the 
more durable species are advancing so rapidly that they are 
turning to the use of perishable or inferior species and get- 
ting very satisfactory returns by a simple and cheap pre- 
servative treatment. 

The open tank process is used almost entirely with creo- 
sote and the following method is usually pursued. The bark 
is first removed and the wood thoroughly seasoned. This 
seasoning process replaces to a considerable extent the mois- 
ture in the wood cells with air. The posts or poles or that 
portion to be treated (usually a distance slightly in excess of 



i "0,-.-.| 

Fig. 44. — A Post Treating Plant, Montgomery Co., Maryland. 

500 million new fence posts are required on our farms every year. Creosote 
treatment costing from 6 to 10 cents per post will often double the life of posts 
in the ground. 


its depth in the ground) is immersed in a hot bath of creo- 
sote up to a temperature not exceeding 215 degrees Fahren- 
heit. This heating process lasts for from two to six hours, 
depending on the species and their size. During the heating 
the moisture and air in the wood expand and a good portion 
of them pass out, appearing as steam or little air bubbles at 
the surface. The posts or poles are then hurriedly removed 
to a cold bath of creosote and the contraction of the air 
and moisture in the wood, due to the cold, creates a partial 
vacuum, which is destroyed by the entrance of the preserv- 
ative fluid. 

In this way atmospheric pressure, due to change in tem- 
perature, accomplishes the impregnation which is secured to 
a much greater degree in the large cylinders by artificial 

Inasmuch as sapwood is more readily subject to treatment 
than heartwood, due to its peculiar structural and chemi- 
cal properties, species with a large percentage of sap and 
timbers in the round are treated much more easily than 
when split. 

The open tank treatment is usually carried out in a very 
simple and cheap way. It is especially adapted for use by 
farmers or a group of them who can use one centrally located 
plant. It usually consists of a galvanized iron tank or con- 
tainer over a bricked-up oven. A fire is built in the oven 
for heating purposes and a smokestack is erected to carry off 
the smoke and create a draft. About 500,000,000 new fence 
posts and 3,500,000 poles are used every year in this country 
so that it is becoming an important matter to prolong the 
life of these timbers. 

The cost of treatment per post is from 4 to 12 cents apiece, 
including cost of equipment. The cost of treating poles is 
about $1.50 apiece for the average pole.. The results from 



this treatment are certainly more than justified. The aver- 
age increased life of the treated post is fourteen years and of 
the pole about ten years. 

Many of the most durable species are not treated, especially 
when used for posts. Among these may be mentioned osage, 

Fig. 45. — A Small Boucherie Treating Plant in a California 
National Forest. 

The Boucherie process is used to impregnate telephone and telegraph poles. 

orange, red cedar, black locust, mulberry, catalpa and occa- 
sionally white oak and white cedar. 

The following tables, partly taken from the Forest Ser- 
vice, illustrate the estimated increased life, in years, to be 
expected from treated posts and poles of a few typical 





Longleaf pine 
Douglas fir. . 

Red oak 

Tamarack . . . 
Chestnut .... 

Untreated life 
in years. 

Treated life in 



Increased life 
as result of 



But perhaps the greatest economy can be effected with the 
use of such perishable and cheap post material as cottonwood, 
elm, maple, birch, beech, willow and poplar which can be 
made to last from fifteen to eighteen years instead of from 
three to five years. 




Lodgepole pine 
Western pine. . 

White oak 

Douglas fir. . . . 

Untreated life Treated life in 
in years. years. 

Increased life 
as result of 


Brush Treatment. — The brush treatment is a very cheap, 
but less efficient method of prolonging the life of certain 
timbers, especially those exposed to the weather or even in 
the case of poles and posts when the open tank treatment 
cannot be used. 

There are several patent preservatives on the market which 
are very good. Any of these, or creosote applied hot and with 
at least two coats, often give fairly satisfactory results. The 
ordinary paint brush is used to apply the preservative. Al- 
though only a superficial treatment, the object should be to 
thoroughly fill and cover with the fluid all cracks, checks, 
knot holes or similar defects which offer the best opening for 



the wood-destroying fungi to work in. All wood should be 
thoroughly air-dried before applying the liquid. Dipping is 
really a form of the brush treatment and gives excellent 
results with shingles, posts, sills and other timbers. 

Results of Wood Preservative Treatment. 

The following table presents a summary of the results that 
may be expected from wood preservation as applied to the 
principal timbers by the most effective method in each case. 


Life un- 


Average cost of treat- 

life in 












1 SO 



(per cu. ft.) 

0. 11 


(per 1000 board ft.) 







Mine props 

Lumber. . . . 





K i:\ipfer, \Y. H. The Preservative Treatment of Poles. U. S. Forest Service 

Bulletin 84. 
Peters, E. W. The Preservation of Mine Timbers. U. S. Forest Service 

Bulletin 107. 
Sherfesee, \Y. F. A Primer of Wood Preservation. U. S. Forest Service 

Circular 139. 
Sherfesee, W. F. Wood Preservation in the United States. U. S. Forest 

Service Bulletin 78. 
Smith, C. S. Preservation of Piling against Marine Borers. U. S. Forest 

Service Circular 128. 
Weiss, Ff. F. The Preservative Treatment of Fence Posts. U. S. Forest 

Service Circular 117. 
Weiss, II. F. Prolonging the Life of Cross Ties. U. S. Forest Service Bulle- 
tin 118. 
Willis, C. P. The Preservative Treatment of Farm Timbers. U. S. Dept. of 

Agric. Farmer's Bulletin 387. 



Owing largely to the superb forests of virgin timber awaiting 
the axe of the first settlers, the civilization of North America 
has been founded, to a remarkable degree, on wood. The 
primeval forest contained, approximately, 850,000,000 acres, 
and to the marvelous richness of the original forest is due the 
prodigal extravagance of the American nation. As stated in 
Chapter I, the annual per capita consumption of timber in 
the United States, 250 cubic feet, is more than six times that 
of Germany and more than twenty times that of Great 

Economic Value of Forests. 

Next to food in human economy, shelter is most impor- 
tant and, according to Fernow, over half our population live 
in wooden houses and two-thirds of the population use wood 
for fuel. The same author estimates that fully 95 per cent of 
all the timber consumed is for necessities. 

In spite of the advances in the structural arts, timber is 
increasing in demand, the per capita consumption being twice 
what it was fifty years ago. Steel, concrete and brick may 
be substituted in some cases, but even the manufacture of 
these substitutes requires considerable wood and, in addition, 
only 25 per cent of the lumber output may be considered as 
structural timber. The attempt to use concrete ties in Ger- 
many, where trains must be run at high speed, has met with 
poor success. Where heavy traffic at slow speed is the rule, 
concrete ties may serve, but the rigidity and lack of elasticity 
detract greatly from the comfort of the traveler and from the 



durability of the rolling stock. Viewed from every side, it is 
extremely difficult to find any material natural or artificial 
which can take the place of wood. 

Minor products, like shoe pegs, spools, musical instruments, 
etc., consume an astonishing amount of timber. New York 
State alone consumes over 8,000,000 board feet per annum in 
the manufacture of wooden novelties, and over 6,000,000 board 
feet are required annually by the manufacturers of clocks and 
toys. Houses, furniture, ship yards, railroads, newspapers 
and books all require wood. A shortage in the timber supply 
would be felt almost as keenly as a famine in foodstuffs. 

Aside from furnishing wood, forests may serve other pur- 
poses. In certain parts of the West, the function of the forest 
in controlling run-off, thus gradually releasing the water for 
irrigation purposes, may be paramount to furnishing local tim- 
ber. The retarding of surface waters to prevent erosion, the 
checking of drying winds in the prairie regions, the influence 
of forests on climate, are all indirect influences of great impor- 
tance. Indeed, a country without at least twenty per cent of 
its land area covered with forest, is at a decided disadvantage 
from an economic and climatic standpoint. 

Forest versus Agricultural Soils. 

As explained in previous chapters, Forestry is concerned 
primarily with lands unsuited to agriculture, but nevertheless, 
capable and sincere men may disagree on what constitutes 
true forest soil. In eastern Texas, for example, efforts are 
being made to colonize land from which the longleaf pine has 
just been cleared. Agriculture or horticulture are doomed to 
failure on such sites, because of the sterility and excessive 
drainage, yet the promoters are absolutely sincere. By ex- 
perience alone can the exact worth of the land be proven, and 
the proper adjustment of soils to transportation facilities and 



economic conditions will only be reached after years of 

Future Use of Land. — The total area of the United States 
is 3,026,789 square miles or, approximately, 1,900,000,000 
acres. Of this, about 550,000,000 acres are now covered with 
forest (65 per cent of the original forest area*), and 415,000,000 
acres are devoted to agriculture. 

Fig. 46. Forest Fire Burning in the Debris of a Previous Fire. 

Unless the fire-killed timber can be sold and removed within a short time, it 
is not only a total loss financially, but may feed a second fire of even greater 

Within the next fifty years, the land, suitable for growing 
forests, will decrease to about 360,000,000 acres, or less than 
twenty per cent of the area of the United States. About 
90,000,000 acres will be held as farm woodlots, bringing the 
total area devoted to timber production up to 450,000,000 

Of this acreage, 6^, per cent will be in the West and 37 per 
cent in the East, and from this diminished area, it will be 
necessary to supply the timber needs of a population, conser- 

* See Appendix for table. 


vatively estimated at 150,000,000. Any hope of obtaining 
timber, from any of the nations now exporting timber, is futile, 
as the surplus of such countries as Russia, Finland, and 
Sweden will be quickly absorbed by continental countries 
to supply the local demand. 

With a population rapidly gaining and a fixed area, the only 
solution is to put each acre of land to its best permanent use. 
The Federal Government has made a start with the National 
Forests and this example should be extensively followed if 
the future American citizen is to enjoy many of life's 

Ownership of Forest Land. — Before a rational forest policy 
can be started under a free government, the owners must be 
convinced that management in perpetuity is financially 
profitable. In certain of the German states, the cutting of 
timber on private lands is regulated by the central govern- 
ment. In spite of advanced legislation passed by certain 
states, it is doubtful if state regulation will ever be enforced 
to that degree in the United States. The rights of the in- 
dividual are too strongly entrenched; it is contrary to the 
principles of democracy. The problem then resolves itself 
into educating or persuading the individual owner to handle 
the forest land for present profit without endangering the 
future timber supply. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Corporations, the present 
status of timber ownership in the United States is as follows: 

Private 75.0 per cent 

National Forests 21.5 per cent 

Other, Federal and State 3.5 per cent 

100. o per cent 

The same bureau reports some interesting discoveries con- 
cerning the ownership of land in general; forest land consti- 
tutes a large portion of the corporate holdings investigated. 
To quote from its findings: 


" The control of our standing timber in a comparatively 
few enormous holdings, speculatively held far in advance of 
any use thereof, and the great increase in value of timber, 
resulting in part from such speculative holding, are under- 
lying facts that will become more and more important elements 
in determining the price of lumber as the supply of timber 
diminishes," says the report. 

" The main fact shown is that 1694 timber owners hold in 
fee over one-twentieth of the land area of the entire United 
States from the Canadian to the Mexican border. In many 
states these 1694 own no lands at all. In the 900 timbered 
counties investigated they own one-seventh of the area. 

" These 1694 holders own 105,600,000 acres. This is an 
area four-fifths the size of France, or greater than the entire 
state of California, or more than two and one-half times the 
land area of the New England states. Sixteen holders own 
47,800,000 acres, or nearly ten times the land area of New 
Jersey. Three land grant railroads own enough to give fifteen 
acres to every male of voting age in the nine western states 
where almost all their holdings lie." 

Further comment is made to the effect that such marked 
concentration has a decided effect on the future supply of 
timber, ore, gas, water powers, etc., and that future distribu- 
tion of these holdings is by no means probable. Out of 
7,400,000 acres originally granted to railroad, wagon road and 
canal corporations, only 15 per cent are now distributed in 
small holdings. In 1910, three western railroads still held 
40 per cent of the 82,000,000 acres granted them in 1865-1870. 
Such control of land and forest resources makes monopoly easy 
of accomplishment, and the Federal ownership of one-fifth the 
standing timber is the best protection against future exorbi- 
tant prices. As described in Chapter I, the Forest Service is 
annually selling over $1,500,000 of stumpage, but this amount 



represents a fraction of the total stand; it is merely the mature 
timber that is accessible which is now marketed, and with the 
development of better transportation facilities, the more 
remote portions of the forest will become available and the 
supply of timber owned by all the people of the United States 
will be a potent factor in controlling excessive prices. 

Forest Resources of the United States. 

The forests of the United States have been estimated by 
the Forest Service to contain 2,500,000,000,000 board feet, 
a reduction of 2,700,000 000,000 from the original forest. 
Of this, 75 per cent is privately owned, the distribution of 
which is as follows: 

Pacific Northwest 46 . o per cent 

Southern Pine region 29 . i per cent 

Lake States 4.5 per cent 

Other regions 20 . 4 per cent 

100. o per cent 

By species, the following estimate of the standing timber 
has been compiled by the Forest Service : 


Billion board feet. 

Douglas fir 











Southern yellow pine 

Western yellow pine 


Western cedar 

Western hemlock 

Lodgepole pine 

White and Norway pine 

Eastern hemlock 

Western spruce 

Eastern spruce 

Western firs 

Sugar pine 


Other conifers 




This stand of timber, enormous as it may seem, can by no 
means be considered inexhaustible, for since colonial times, 
it is estimated that timber exceeding the present stand by 
two billion board feet has been used, wasted or consumed by 
forest fires. In view of the low growth rate and the excessive 
annual drain, the present forest capital is none too large. 

Rate of Consumption. — In the chapter on Utilization, the 
annual production of lumber was stated to be 40,000,000,000 
board feet. This amount, together with the timber used for 
ties, poles, posts, firewood, etc., makes the total annual con- 
sumption of forest products amount to 20,000,000,000 cubic 
feet of wood. On the basis of saw timber alone, the present 
supply should last about sixty years without taking growth 
into consideration. (The average annual increment per acre 
of forest land, as a whole, in the United States is about one- 
fourth that obtained in German forests and, in addition, 
200,000,000 acres are estimated to be in over-mature or virgin 
forests where growth is offset by decay.) Unfortunately, how- 
ever, there is not an equal demand for all kinds of timber, and 
there is no doubt but that certain species will command very 
high prices within the next thirty or forty years. There will be 
no real timber famine, however, in the ordinary sense; timber 
of some kind will be available, but the quality may be much 
inferior to the average grade now used and the prices will range 
considerably higher. In order to prevent any hardships 
resulting from a diminishing timber supply, some readjust- 
ments will be necessary. The excessive per capita consump- 
tion of forest products every year (250 cubic feet) must be 
greatly reduced; closer utilization at the mills and factories 
must be practiced, so that more than 40 per cent of the tree is 
actually used and, finally, better forestry methods must be put 
in force to triple or quadruple the present per acre yield of the 
non-agricultural land. Before the demand can be levelled 


down to the reduced supply, the pinch of timber poverty may 
be keenly felt. 

Methods of Providing Future Supply. 

In view of the ownership of forest resources in the United 
States, the several agencies must co-operate to provide the 
coming generations with forest products. The Federal and 
State Governments own only a fourth of the present stand, 
but by husbanding their resources and regulating its use, the 
publicly owned timber supply may exercise an influence far 
greater than its amount would indicate. 

State versus Federal Control. — To secure ideal manage- 
ment of forest land, certain conditions are quite essential. 

1. There should be a large area managed as a producing 
unit. This will permit better regulation of yield, closer 
utilization (specialization) and reduction of overhead charges. 

2. The plan of management should be made with regard 
to future conditions and should not be subjected to radical 
changes at frequent intervals. 

The above conditions can best be met by having the land 
owned by an organization with perpetual existence like the 
state, government, or a corporation, for forestry at best is a 
long-time investment. No private corporation is likely to 
forego present profits in order to reap future returns, so the 
future welfare of the country can best be served by having as 
much timber land as possible owned by the government. 
Either the State or National government can dispense with 
present revenues to assure the future generations an adequate 
timber supply and, in the final analysis, a good government is 
responsible for the welfare of its citizens, both present and 
future. Which method of controlling natural resources, State 
or Federal, will best serve to promote their best use, is still 


a mooted question and one which has provoked much dis- 

Since the first National Forests were withdrawn from the 
public domain, there has been a continuous attack on the 
Federal forest policy in certain parts of the West. These 
attacks may generally be traced to one of two sources; either 
to corporations interested in mining, lumbering, orwater-power 
development, or to zealous partisans of the doctrine of states' 
rights, who believe the state should control all the resources 
within its boundaries, and refuse to admit the possibility of 
better control or regulation by the central government. Such 
well meaning citizens are often used to advantage by corporate 
interests, and at the last Conservation Congress in Washing- 
ton, men, whose sincerity and integrity were above suspicion, 
supported the demand of individuals with ulterior motives, 
that the present National policy should be reversed, and that 
all natural resources should be turned over to the separate 

The fact that public ownership of forest land is extremely 
important to the welfare of future citizens has been previously 
brought out; but why should not State ownership prove 
successful? Federal ownership has the following advantages: 

1. While congressional action is slower and harder to 
secure, when once favorable laws are enacted, their repeal is 
much more difficult than with state legislation. 

2. A Federal organization, while slightly hampered by its 
size, can, nevertheless, develop a corps of specialists impossible 
in a state service. 

3. Interstate questions can be settled to advantage by the 
central government. 

The states should be encouraged to acquire land for state 
forests, but, on the whole, Federal regulation of all natural 



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resources including forests, is best calculated to achieve the 
ends of a government for the people. 

The arguments that are most often used by the opponents 
of the present forest policy are that the state is abundantly 
able to look after its own welfare, and, since the eastern states 
were not hampered in the disposition of their natural resources, 
the same privilege should be accorded the younger states. 

The ease with which practically any state legislature re- 
verses itself, is a sufficient argument against the first conten- 
tion. Many instances are available where states have bartered 
their rights and resources for a song. Of all the states given 
land for school purposes, very few have handled these pos- 
sessions with much foresight. In one of the western states, 
where opposition to the Forest Service has been especially 
keen, the legislature sold state land containing billions of 
board feet of virgin white pine to a syndicate at ij cents per 
thousand board feet. The Federal government is now selling 
the identical timber in the same region for a price ranging from 
$4 to $5 per thousand board feet. 

Concerning the propriety of demanding equal privileges 
with the older states, little need be said. Because one region 
has squandered its patrimony, is no reason why the same 
license should be granted to another, especially when much of 
the Public Domain was purchased from funds supplied by 
the original states. 

Under present conditions, Government ownership is no bar 
or hindrance to legitimate development; agricultural land can 
be acquired in compliance with the Act of June 11, 1906, 
mining claims can be entered, timber bought and water powers 
developed. The officials in charge insist, however, that the 
rules be observed, and that the property of the nation be used 
without impairment. Free and proper use is encouraged, but 
the monopolistic acquisition or control of resources for specu- 


lation is opposed. This attitude has aroused strong hostility 
in certain parts of the West. 

State Forest Work.* — At present, thirteen states have a 
commission or bureau concerned with forestry alone; fifteen 
additional states have a joint conservation, or forest and game 
commission and in three states, there is a single commissioner, 
making thirty-one states with a clear-cut forest policy and 
proper machinery for the enforcement of their statutes. 
Twenty of these states have one or more technically trained 
foresters in charge of their work. 

The above states own 142 State forests, containing 3,426,832 
acres; they operate 30 forest nurseries, comprising 150 acres 
with a yearly output of nearly ten million seedlings. Sixty- 
three forest experiment stations are operated by eleven states, 
and already over 12,000 acres of forest plantations have been 
started. In such states as Minnesota, Michigan, Maine, New 
York and Pennsylvania, there is abundant room for further 
development of a vigorous forestry policy. New York, for 
instance, owns 1,800,000 acres of wild land, lying in the 
Adirondacks and Catskills, containing 25 per cent of the 
standing timber of the state. With one-tenth of the popu- 
lation of the United States living within its boundaries, 
provision for future supplies of timber must be made. Other 
states are in a like situation, and where there are vast areas of 
unseated land, due to lumbering, fire, etc., the creation of 
state reserves from such lands serves to restore equilibrium to 
the land situation. Practically every state which has pur- 
chased wild land to any extent has found it a splendid in- 
vestment on account of the increase in value and, in addition, 
the values of adjoining properties show a decided price appre- 
ciation. The primary object of establishing future forests 
and recreation grounds is gained and a situation which 
* For tabular statement see Appendix. 


has been extremely serious in some states is vastly im- 

Private Practice of Forestry. — The adoption of intensive 
private forest management on any scale has not gained much 
headway in the United States, although statistics compiled 
by the Forest Service indicate that over 3,500,000 acres can 
be considered as receiving some extensive form of treatment. 
The absence of law of entail has a tendency toward the parti- 
tion of landed estates so that the bulk of large original grants 
is now held in small parcels. Certain exceptions to this may 
be found in different regions; the heirs of an early Maine 
settler now control and lumber 230,000 acres; several tracts 
of 60,000 to 100,000 acres are found in the Adirondacks and the 
Biltmore forest of 120,000 acres, situated near Asheville, North 
Carolina, are instances of successfully managed private forests. 
The latter estate is especially interesting since it has been 
in charge of technically trained foresters for the past twenty 
years, and its recent purchase by the Government will secure 
for all time the benefits of some very instructive experiments. 

Forestry, as a rule, does not appeal to the individual on 
account of the time element in securing returns. In Great 
Britain and on the continent, where large estates have been in 
possession of the same family for generations, the forest land 
may furnish a considerable revenue. In the United States, 
individuals prefer an investment which is quicker to mature 
and is more negotiable than forest land. However, if forest 
capital in the form of mature timber can be purchased at a 
reasonable figure, conservative lumbering with an eye to future 
crops will prove highly profitable. 

The type of land owner most advantageously situated con- 
cerning the practice of forestry, is the farmer owning wood- 
land in connection with farms, because the tillable land yields 
an annual return and no forced cuttings are necessary. The 


woodlot furnishes domestic timber and fuel, thinnings can 
be made during the winter when other work is slack and, on the 
whole, a farm with a good woodlot is much more attractive 
and desirable as a home and as an investment. The practice 
of intensive forestry by the farmer is of prime importance, 
and the education of and co-operation with this type of owner 
should be heartily encouraged. The most discouraging feature 
of woodlot forestry in the past has been the extremely low 
returns received for stumpage, cordwood, etc. By assisting 
the small owner to market his forest products at a profit, 
treatment accorded the 190,000,000 acres composing the 
nation's woodlot will be much better in the future than in 
the past. 

Communal Forestry. — In a nation as young as the United 
States, the ownership and management of any land for the 
benefit of the community, as a whole, is hardly to be expected, 
especially when forest resources have been so abundant. 
Solidarity can only be acquired after years of leisurely and 
harmonious community existence. Most of the American 
towns are still too busy growing to think of developing re- 
sources for the future citizens, consequently, examples of com- 
munal forestry are still quite unique. 

European countries furnish countless examples of non- 
agricultural land owned and operated for the benefit of all 
the citizens. The returns from some of those forests are 
strikingly large. The Sihlwald, the City Forest of Zurich, 
Switzerland, has been owned by the city for upward of 1000 
years. In spite of spending about $4.50 per acre per year in 
tending the forest, the annual net revenue per acre amounts 
to approximately 87. 50. 

Gaulsheim, a small village in the Black Forest, pays the 
operating expenses of the village out of the revenues obtained 
from the forest of 2000 acres. In favorable years, it has paid 


a dividend of $4 to each of the 800 inhabitants. Such high 
returns are hardly possible in view of the lower timber values 
and higher labor prices that obtain in the United States. If 
communities would realize the possibilities that non-agricul- 
tural land offer in the way of revenue production, many of 
the unattractive waste areas lying close to our towns and 
villages would be purchased and planted to the aesthetic and 
economic improvement of the community. Reforestation of 
city water sheds has great possibilities in this connection. 
Grazing, or tilling and fertilizing the soil are impossible on 
account of contaminating the water supply. A crop of trees, 
on the other hand, improves the water holding capacity of the 
soil; 'the roots, on entering the ground, form basins in which 
the water may collect during a heavy rain and, in many ways, 
the presence of forest cover on a water shed, is most desirable. 
It is the one profitable and hygienic use to which such land 
may be put. 

Up to the present time, there are 97 municipal forests in 
13 states, Massachusetts leading with 56. Such forests, for 
the most part, may be used for recreation grounds as much as 
for timber production. The start has been made, however, 
and the extension of municipal forestry will prove an important 
phase of the general forestry development of the next twenty 
or thirty years. 

Esthetic Forestry. — As denned in the first chapter, 
forestry, strictly speaking, is the raising of trees in forests for 
timber purposes, while arboriculture is concerned with the 
growing of trees singly or in groups for any purpose whatever. 
Thus, aesthetic forestry is a rather contradictory expression 
which, nevertheless, has gained more or less sanction through 

^Esthetic forestry really divides itself into what might be 
called park forestry, and shade tree work. In the former line 


of work, forestry and landscape engineering are combined; 
in the latter, specialized silviculture is most important. In 
both, an intimate knowledge of the habits and resistance of 
trees, their form and growth rate, their peculiar qualities, 
rendering them suitable for one location and unfitted for 
another, is necessary. 

The importance of so-called aesthetic or city forestry has 
been, to a large degree, overlooked by many technical foresters. 
In a country where public opinion has such an important 
bearing on the enactment and enforcement of laws, any line 
of activity, awakening interest in single trees, will have its 
effect in stimulating a greater interest in trees in general. 
Thus, the psychological importance of shade tree work and 
aesthetic forestry is extremely great. Interest a citizen in the 
shade tree before his house or on his lawn, and a long step has 
been taken toward awakening intelligent interest in and 
support of economic forestry. Favorable public opinion and 
interest are necessary to secure appropriations for economic 
forestry and, as an entering wedge, aesthetic forestry has 
enormous possibilities. 


Fernow, B. E. Economics of Forestry. 

Kellogg, R. S. The Timber Supply of the United States. U. S. Forest 

Service, Circular 166. 
Kellogg, R. S. Lumber and its Uses. 
Van Hise, Charles R. The Conservation of National Resources in the 

United States. 
Zon, Raphael. The Future Use of Land in the United States. U. S. Forest 

Service, Bulletin 159. 
Sundry Articles. Report of National Conservation Commission, Volume II, 

pages 178-196. 



Definition and Discussion. 

Aside from furnishing material which is indispensable to 
our modern civilization, controlling the run-off of precipita- 
tion, etc., economic forestry demands that forests shall also 
yield a cash revenue, for unless forestry proves attractive 
financially, its practice will be confined to the government or 
other agencies which can afford to supply timber at a loss 
because of indirect benefits. Forest finance deals with the 
question of determining the profitableness of growing timber 
and in the final analysis, therefore, is of importance both to 
the state and individual. 

The principles involved in forest finance are the same as 
those employed by insurance companies and bankers, except 
that the foresters of the United States have not a good set 
of " yield tables" available. The reactions of capital and 
interest are easily computed, but without such tables, the 
future volume yield can only be approximated. However, 
the results obtained in other countries where forestry has 
long been established are of great assistance and give some 
conception of the outlook in the United States. The value 
of forest finance as a check in regulating the relative inten- 
siveness of forestry operations can hardly be overestimated. 

General Considerations. 

Capital and Interest. — The needs of the nation create 
various demands and capital furnishes the means of satisfy- 
ing them. While labor or a certain kind of material may 



satisfy a given demand, money is the usual standard of 
material values. 

Interest is the earning power of capital, the rent paid for 
the use of the principle. The interest rate asked will largely 
depend on the demand for money, negotiability and safety of 
the investment. 

The general laws affecting capital which have the most 
bearing on forest finance are as follows: 

1. The value of any natural resource tends to rise as the 
population increases. Timber values are much higher now 
than twenty-five years ago; as a rule they may be said to 
have increased at the rate of twenty per cent a decade, during 
the past forty years. 

2. The ready negotiability of capital adds to its value. At 
present forest land is not readily sold nor can money be bor- 
rowed upon it as easily as on government bonds for instance. 
But with the rapid depletion of the stands of virgin timber, 
not only will the cash value of timber vastly increase, but also 
the ease with which it may be sold or used as collateral. 

Interest is of two kinds, simple and compound. Compound 
interest is used chiefly in forest finance, since the forest crop 
is not harvested annually, as in farming, but at the end of 
a long rotation. In addition, capital and interest are hard 
to separate since the growth-ring (interest) is annually laid 
on top of the capital and previous interest, represented by 
the tree. 

The laws governing compound interest overlook any possible 
loss of the entire capital, since the total returns compounded 
assumes the safe delivery of the original investment and 
interest. Neither is there supposed to be any change in the 
interest rate during the rotation. Thus, since any accidents, 
like loss from fire or windfall, or decrease in the growth rate, 


owing to insect attacks, etc., are not considered in the com- 
putations, additional allowance must be made. 

Forests as Investments. — Only within the last two or 
three decades has the idea of holding forests as investments 
gained any standing in the United States. Timber land for 
the most part had been regarded as a natural resource, in- 
capable of growth or renewal; it contained a certain amount 
of raw material and like a gold mine, the quicker these 
assets could be converted into cash, the better for the owner 
or stock holders. Of late years, however, the fact that 
forests are increasing in value and that, if properly handled, 
they will regenerate themselves naturally and grow at a 
profitable rate, is becoming appreciated, and large tracts 
of immature forests are being bought up for speculation 

Stumpage is bound to rise, not only because of the decrease 
in supply but the better transportation facilities, the greater 
safety, owing to improved fire protection, and the increased 
negotiability of woodlands, will greatly stimulate the demand 
for forest land and forest products. 

Aside from the speculative value, forest land will prove 
decidedly attractive to certain groups of corporations and 
individuals. Entailed estates, water and power companies, 
paper concerns, towns and communities will all turn to forests 
as a conservative investment, yielding a fair return, but the 
rate will not compare favorably, of course, with that earned 
by industrial stocks of a speculative character. 

In the United States, as in all young countries where devel- 
opment is rapid, money is at a premium, owing to the strong 
demand. Consequently, interest rates must be paid that 
seem extremely high compared with the yields of Old World 
investments for instance. Whereas, continental investors 
are content with a return of from 2§ to 3^ per cent with 



absolute safety, the American investor demands 3J to 5§ per 
cent on the same kind of securities. As stated in Chapter VI, 
it has been clearly proven that a pine plantation, economically 
started, will yield 5 per cent compound interest, based on 
present stumpage values. Nevertheless, an interest rate from 

Fig. 48. — Sample Plot of White Pine 28 Years Old Which has Been 
v Growing at the Rate of 122 Cubic Feet Per Acre Per Year. 
Where initial cost of land and planting is not exorbitant this species will 
yield 5 per cent compound interest on the investment. 

3 to 4 per cent is safer to count on; and the increase in stump- 
age value that will inevitably occur during the rotation will 
be an additional profit. 

To summarize, under present conditions, forests are a 
fairly conservative investment, yielding an average return. 
The legislation favorable to the taxation of forest land that 
is being enacted by many states, and increased fire pro- 


tection, are adding to their safety, and natural laws are favor- 
able to appreciation in value. Forestry really offers a unique 
opportunity to the capitalist, since it constitutes a real estate 
investment in which the soil receives more protection and less 
actual labor. Contrary to agriculture, it can be effectively 
managed by a non-resident owner on account of the extensive 
character of the work. The crop is not perishable and con- 
sequently can be harvested by the owner when market condi- 
tions are most desirable. 

The small farmer owning a few acres of woodlot also finds 
his forest land a good investment. The 190,000,000 acres of 
farm woodlots yielded their owners in 1909, $195,000,000. 
In addition to their cash value, they supply domestic fuel, 
building material, furnish labor during the winter season and 
in many cases, make the farm much more attractive and 
habitable. From every standpoint, to practically every type 
of owner from the Federal. Government to the small farmer, 
forest land is a highly desirable investment, one that yields 
high returns, both direct and indirect. 

Methods of Determining Forest Values. 

The assessments of any real values is ordinarily quite diffi- 
cult on account of the many elements that enter into the 
question. A piece of property may be valued according to 
its selling value, its cost value (selling value plus interest and 
expense) or its value may be based on what it is expected to 
bring at some future time (expectation value) or on its returns 
(rental value). Sentimental value also must be considered 
but this is almost impossible to determine by mathematics. 

Concerning the first two, little need be said, although there 
may be wide variation in sale values, due to fictitious condi- 
tions or unsound judgment on the part of the vendor. 

Expectation value is based entirely on the future sale value 



which may have to be predicted or estimated; in forest 
finance it deals with the forest crop. Accurately stated, the 
expectation value is the exact present net value of a future 

Fig. 49. — Result of Repeated Fires in a Farm Woodlot. 

Light ground fires which apparently do no harm beyond burning the dry 
leaves in reality inflict far-reaching damage which may not appear until the 
trees are cut. 

assumed sale value. In the case of the forest crop, the expec- 
tation value is apt to be rather blind because: 

1. Exact knowledge of the future stumpage value is lacking. 

2. No accurate knowledge of expenses that will be incurred 
in carrying the crop until time for sale is available. How- 
ever, it serves to give an idea of the present value when the 
forest crop is injured or destroyed before maturity. 

Rental value is concerned not with the forest crop but con- 
siders the forest soil as a revenue producing investment, a 


capital value which can produce a given return (rental) either 
annually or periodically. Thus rental value is not concerned 
with the sale value but rather on the annual or periodic return 
of the forest; this return (rental) by definition must recur at 
regular intervals. 

In brief the rental value of forest land is its financial value 
for growing forest crops and in portions of Germany is the 
value often used for assessment. 

Formula Used. — In computing the various values and 
assessing damages, the following symbols are used: 

P = per cent, as 3 per cent. 
.oP = multiple, as .03. 
1.0P = capital and interest for one year. 

n = number of years in rotation. 

m = number of years to end of rotation. 

C = cost of establishing a forest (e.g., planting 
cost, material and labor). 

5 = cost of the land. 

e = annual per acre expense, taxes, fire protec- 
tion, etc. 

E = capitalized annual per acre expense. 

Concerning cost of the land at the end of a rotation of n 
years, the total expense for land amounts to S X i.oP n , 
but the land still will be on hand and is capable of raising 
another crop. Consequently its value at that time must be 
deducted in order to give the correct expense charge incurred 
in holding the land. If the land can be sold at the end of the 
rotation for its original price, , 

S X i.oP n - SorS(i.oP n - 1) 

represents the land expense; if the land has changed in value 

S X i.oP n - Sx 


is the formula which is universally used, where Si equals the 
value of the land at the end of the rotation. Thus, if the land 
appreciates in value during the rotation, the total land expense 
will be less than original price plus interest; if it should de- 
preciate, the total land charge will equal original cost plus 
interest, plus amount of depreciation; if it remains the same 
original cost plus interest will be the land expense. 

In computing the cost of the annual expense (e), it is much 
simpler to use the capitalized value (E) in compound interest 
equations. For instance, if taxes, fire protection and super- 
vision total twenty-four cents per acre per annum with a four 
per cent interest rate, it will require a capital of $6 (E) per 
acre to provide for this annual expense. The total annual 
expense charge on the rotation (n years) is computed by the 

E (i.oP n - 1). 

The term — 1 is used since the capital sum has never been 
expended at all, only its interest being used to defray the 
annual expense. 

From the foregoing, the complete cost of raising a crop of 
timber can be computed by the following formula: 

Cost of crop at the end of n years 

= (C + S + E) i.oP" - (S 1 + E), 
Si being the land value at the end of the rotation. 


What will it cost to raise a crop of Norway spruce to 
forty years of age with land costing $6 per acre, planting 
cost $12 per acre, taxes and other annual expenses twenty- 
four cents per acre; money at 4 per cent, land worth $10 per 
acre forty years hence. 

Substituting in the cost formula: 


Cost of crop at forty years 

= (C + S + E) i.oP»- (£+£) 
= ($12 + $6 + $6) 4.801 - (10 + 6) 
= $99-22. 

If the stumpage is worth $100 per acre at forty years, the 
investment will have been yielding a trifle more than four per 
cent since the return is slightly more than the interest charged 
up against the original investment. Any surplus is spoken 
of as a profit, being the excess over the interest rate charged 
against the original investment, but the plantation would 
have been earning 4 per cent had the stumpage yield exactly 
equalled the cost and no more. 

In case a thinning is made previous to the final harvest, the 
capital plus interest of the financial yield of the thinning is 
deducted from the cost. The reason for this is that the money 
received can be put out at interest during the remainder of 
the rotation and consequently that sum should be a credit 

In the above case, if the spruce stand had been thinned at 
twenty years, the cost would be computed, 

Cost = (C + 5 + E) 1.0P 40 - (Si + E -f TX 1.0P 20 ) at 40 years, 
T being the net proceeds derived from the thinning. 

Assessment of Damages. 

Aside from the difficulty in marketing forest products, one 
of the most discouraging features in the United States has 
been the slight value placed upon damage to forest lands and 
standing timber, by the public and by the legal profession. 
As a result the potential value of immature forest land has 
depreciated in the eyes of the owners; much of the mis- 
management of timberland can be traced to this sentiment. 


At the present time the growth of forests has but little 
standing in the courts and the average judge or jury considers 
it entirely just and equitable to pay an owner cordwood prices 
for a burned forest that in a few years would have produced 
saw timber or at least railroad ties, telephone poles, etc. A 
woodland owner deprived of future profit is fully entitled to 
the present value of that profit. 

The kinds of damage to forests requiring especial assess- 
ment are due as a rule to either fire or trespass, and the dam- 
age may consist of the following: 

1. Destruction of the merchantable timber. 

2. Destruction of future sale value of crop. (Immature 
crop now unmerchantable.) 

3. Injury to producing capacity of forest land or to future 
forest crops not yet started. 

The valuation of these damages may be based on either 
sale, rental, or expectation value, but there is a wide differ- 
ence between valuing land for sale and estimating damage to 
forest property. 

If the property remains in the original condition as far as 
productivity is concerned (trespass case with all timber 
removed), the stumpage value of the mature timber plus the 
expectation value of the immature timber will be the measure 
of damages. 

The formula for obtaining the expectation value of the 
forest crop is: 

E V = Y-(S + E) (i.oP» - 1) f 
i.oP m 

Y being the cash yield at the end of the rotation; S and E 
having the same values as before; m being the number of 
years from the time the damage was inflicted until the end of 
the normal rotation. 


In simplest terms, the expectation value is the final net 
yield less the future expenses discounted to the present. The 
original cost, including C, are not used since they would have 
been paid for out of the final yield. The future expenditures 
are deducted because they have not been spent and not to 
deduct them would be equivalent to giving the owner double 
payment (the full price of his crop which is not yet mature, 
and the money for expenses not yet incurred) . 


The spruce plantation in the previous problem is cut over 
by a trespasser at thirty years. It would have produced 
40,000 board feet worth $8 per thousand board feet of lumber 
per acre at sixty years. What is the measure of damages ? 

The damage being confined to the timber, the expectation 
value at thirty years will give the amount of damages. 

Y - (S + E) i.oP m - 1 

E. V. = 

i.oP m 

_ $320 - ($6 + $6) (1.4 30 - 1) 

1.4 30 
_ $ 320 - $12 (2.243) 

= $89.44. 

In case of partial destruction of a forest crop, the difference 
between the two yields (normal and actual) Y + Fi discounted 
from the end of the rotation to the time of the damage, will 
give the present value of the loss. 

„ ,. ... . . , Y - (S + E) (i.oP m - 1) 

E. V. of the original crop = —^ • 

i.oP m 

T7 v t^ 'a t Y 1 - (S + E) (1.0P™ - 1) 

E. V. of the remainder of crop = ~ • 

^ i.oP m 


The difference between the two is the proper amount of 
damage or 

Y - Y 
i.oP m 

If the bearing power of the forest land is impaired (land 
badly burned), its future returns will be smaller and the 
rental value will be reduced. 

The rental value of forest soil, as previously explained, is 
the capital value based on its regular returns. 

By the formula for rental value 

R v = Y -[(CX i.oP*)+£(i.oP"-i)] 
1.0P — 1 

_ F - (CX 1.0P") _ E 
i.oP n - 1 

The capitalized value of a series of future net yields is obtained; 
that is the expenses, C + E with interest to the end of the 
rotation are deducted from the yield and are divided by 
i.oP u — 1 to get the capital value. The cost value of the 
land (S plus interest) is not deducted because that would 
be begging the question. It is the value of the land on a 
crop-producing basis that is sought. 


The spruce plantation, previously quoted, is entirely burned 
the first year. Not only trees but all the ground cover was 
consumed and subsequent rains have washed the soil away. 
The site is absolutely ruined for timber production. 

How much damage shall be sued for? 

The soil being impaired, rental value will be the proper 
assessment, yield Y being secured from yield tables for the 
same quality of site. 


R V = Y ~ [(C X I ' OjP60) +E (l '° P6 ° ~ l)] 
1.0P - I 

= $320 - [12 X 10.5196 + 6 (9.5196)] 


= $26.35. 

If the present crop is destroyed and the bearing power of 
land is also impaired, the usual result of a crown fire, for 
instance, the rental value of the soil and the expectation 
value of the crop constitute the two measures of damages. 

Presentation of Damages. 

The computation of the loss suffered by a forest owner 
when his young timber is destroyed is comparatively easy; 
the presentation to a court or jury is extremely difficult as 
the layman is apt to regard the present sale value as the 
proper basis for settlement. 

The difficulties that lie in the way of convincing the average 
man of the justice of demanding more than the present sale 
value are: 

1. The growth of the forest is not recognized, the present 
status of timber being the same as real estate. When the 
courts are convinced that timber should be considered a 
growing crop, then it will be possible to substitute expectation 
for sale value. 

2. In the case of damage to young timber, no clear-cut 
investment is apparent except the purchase of what is usually 
termed " brush land." If a plantation has been destroyed, 
it is usually easier to convince the court, as an actual invest- 
ment for land, planting material and labor has been made. 

The following principles should be borne in mind in assess- 
ing damages to forest property and in presenting them: 


i. Damage must be actual, present or certain to occur. 

2. The purpose and use of the owner is considered. 

3. The difference in value of the property is the real basis 
of settlement. 

As a rule the simplest way to present an abstruse damage 
case is to insist that the land of the plaintiff be restored to its 
original condition. This, of course, is impossible where the 
soil has been impaired, but by valuing the seedlings that have 
been injured at f cent each when four years old (a plantation 
of 1200 trees per acre can be easily started for $9) and com- 
pounding this initial investment up to the time of the damage, 
the fact that the present sale value is far too low can gener- 
ally be established. 

Forest Taxation. 

A former Chief Forester has said that the two agencies 
responsible for the greatest amount of forest destruction are 
forest fires and unjust taxation. Legislation has been passed 
in some states to improve the situation but where the annual 
taxes on timberland amount to 6 to 8 per cent of the actual 
value, a corporation or individual owner is forced to denude 
the forest land at once in order to prevent taxes from con- 
suming all profit. 

It is undoubtedly true that exorbitant taxation has been 
responsible for much of the forest destruction in the Lake and 
Pacific Coast States and even now taxes levied upon non- 
resident timberland owners give them no option but to cut 

Practically all of our states tax forests on the general prop- 
erty basis, and this form of taxation is especially harmful to 
an investment that does not produce an annual income or one 
that is either increasing or decreasing in value. Fairchild 


has shown that a 2 per cent annual tax levied on a plantation 
of white pine, with land costing $10 and planting $7, would 
mount up to 78 per cent of the profit at the end of the rotation. 

That forest taxation in its present status has not caused 
more forest destruction is due to the ordinary practice of 
greatly undervaluing forest land. Where the county officials 
" cruise" the timber to ascertain the exact contents and then 
levy an annual tax of 6 to 8 per cent of the value of the stump- 
age, there can be but one result. One large syndicate of land 
owners is paying annual taxes amounting to $1,000,000, on 
forest lands in the state of Washington alone. 

The equitable taxation of forest resources is a broad eco- 
nomic problem on the solution of which depends the forest 
policy of practically four-fifths of the standing timber of the 
United States. With just taxation many owners can be in- 
duced to handle their holdings for a perpetual supply; if the 
non-agricultural acres containing a splendid stand of timber 
are taxed exorbitantly, a policy of wasteful exploitation will 
be put in force, the woodland will be stripped and thrown 
back upon the state, the counties will be deprived of their 
revenue and the local inhabitants of their occupation. 

The remedy for such a situation is to lighten the burden of 
forest taxation, to abandon the general property tax now in 
force in thirty-four states and to substitute a tax on the basis 
of yield. Moreover, this tax should be collected at the time 
the owner is best able to meet his obligations; viz., when the 
crop is harvested. 

Fourteen states have enacted special legislation dealing 
with forest taxation. For the most part, the underlying 
idea is that of tax exemption or rebates. 

Five states have enacted laws permitting the taxation of 
forest land, according to yield or income. This is the ideal 
condition, and when every state will permit its non-agricul- 


tural acres to pay but one tax, instead of one for each year 
of the rotation, which tax will be graded according to the 
producing power of the forest and levied when the owner is 
in funds, the forest resources of the United States, as a whole, 
will be handled in a much more rational manner. 


Chittenden, Alfred K., and Irion, Harry. The Taxation of Forest Lands 
in Wisconsin. 

Fairchild, Fred R. Taxation of Timber Lands. Report of National Con- 
servation Commission, Vol. II, page 581. 

Fernow, B. E. Taxation of Woodlands. Forestry Quarterly, Vol. V, 
No. 4, page 373. 

Gaskill, Alfred. How Shall Forests be Taxed? Proceedings of Society of 
American Foresters, Vol. I, No. 3, 1905. 

Schlich, Sir William. Manual of Forestry, Vol. III. 

Report of Forestry Committee. Fifth National Conservation Congress 
on Taxation. 


Forest Regions. 

This country was originally endowed with greater and more 
varied forests than are found in any other country, from a 
commercial viewpoint. When the earliest settlers came to 
our eastern coast, there was an unbroken forest stretching 
from the Atlantic Ocean to the treeless plains of the prairies 
in the central West. 

It is estimated that our original forests covered about 
850,000,000 acres. Through clearance for agricultural devel- 
opment, and as a result of logging and forest fires, this amount 
has been reduced until at the present time there are about 
545,000,000 acres classified as forests. It is believed that 
the present acreage will not be greatly reduced for agricul- 
tural purposes, except in certain limited regions, for the 
reason that the potential possibilities of the soils formerly 
covered by forests have been nearly reached in agricultural 
expansion. In many of our states at least one half of the 
total area is better suited to forests than to any other crop 
from the soil. In portions of the East soils that should be 
permanently devoted to forests have in some cases been 
cleared in the early development of this country and are now 
reverting back to woodlands and forests. 

The demarkation line between the adaptability of all soils 
to forestry or agriculture will soon be closely drawn in the 
United States as it has been in European countries, where 



every parcel of land is put to its highest economic and pro- 
ductive use. Our oldest lumber producing state, Maine, 
has the largest percentage of area devoted to forests of any 
state in the union and there is every likelihood of the perma- 
nent continuance of this situation. 

The original forests in the East were characterized by the 
following features: 

1. A continuous forest cover, unbroken by treeless plains 
prairies or deserts. 

2. Mixed hardwood and coniferous growth. There are 
very few pure forests in the East with the exception of the 
longleaf pine of the South. 

3. A great variety of species. There are over 400 species, 
both hardwoods and conifers, found in the East. 

4. Fairly uniform size of trees and stands per acre. 

On the other hand the forests of the West are characterized 
by the following features : 

1. Practically pure coniferous forests throughout. 

2. The forest cover is usually limited to the mountainous 
regions and is broken up by treeless plains and valleys and by 
open parks in the timber. 

3. There is great diversity in size, depending on climatic 
conditions. The large size of the Douglas fir on the Pacific 
slope is due to the warm, equable, rainy weather, whereas 
the same tree in the Rocky Mountains is comparatively 
short, tapered and of small size, due to the low rainfall, short 
growing season and low mean temperature. 

4. There are fewer species than in the East. There are 
only about eight important lumber trees in the West. 

The principal species, from a commercial standpoint, found 
in the East are white pine, longleaf pine, white and red oaks, 
hard maple, shortleaf pine, cypress, red spruce, hemlock, 




loblolly pine, red gum and yellow poplar. Besides these is 
a great variety of species, such as the chestnut, red pine, elm, 
hickory, eastern larch, white and red cedar, black gum, ash, 
walnut, cherry, basswood, etc. 

The principal species in the West are Douglas fir, western 
yellow pine, redwood, western red cedar, sugar pine, lodge- 
pole pine, western hemlock, Sitka spruce and western white 
pine. Others of less importance are western larch, incense 
cedar, red fir, Port Orford cedar, amabilis fir, Engelmann 
spruce and a few other conifers. The few hardwoods on the 
Pacific slope, among which may be mentioned the California 
live oak, the tan-bark oak and the Oregon maple are of 
relatively little importance. 

About 50 separate species enter into our timber trade in 
an important way. About 150 others are used to some 
extent but chiefly for local purposes. In keeping with our 
rapidly increasing population, and the gradual western de- 
velopment, the supply of white pine, our best all around 
timber tree, has rapidly diminished. Southern yellow pine, 
embracing four species (longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly and Cuban 
pines in order of importance) was next exploited and at the 
present time, Douglas fir on the Pacific coast is rapidly coming 
to the front to supply our lumber and timber for the various 
wood-using industries. 

The result of this situation is that the eastern forests have 
been culled over for the best material and the remaining 
supply is being cut from the more inaccessible portions of the 
virgin forest. This means that forest management will un- 
doubtedly be practiced first in those portions that have been 
longest settled and therefore have suffered most from the 
result of the axe, forest fires and clearing land for agricultural 
development. For example. New England has taken the 
leadership in the practice of forestry for the reason that it 


is one of the oldest as well as most densely populated sections 
of the country. In this region both the needs and possibil- 
ities of forestry are closely comparable to those of Germany 
and France. In the Northeast the most direct reason for the 
great interest in forestry is the question of utilization. In 
other words, forest products bring such attractive prices that 
intensive forest management is possible and practicable. 

For the purpose of briefly describing the forestry situation 
in the various parts of this country, the forests have been 
divided up into several regions. In the ensuing chapters the 
following regions are described in a general way: 

(1) Northern Forest, 

(2) Southern Pines, 

(3) Central Hardwoods, 

(4) Prairie or Fringe Forest, 

(5) Northern Rocky Mountain Forest, 

(6) Southern Rocky Mountain Forest, 

(7) Pacific Coast Forest. 

These regions are divided according to differences in species 
and prevailing types of timber which serve to distinguish 
them. A brief description of the most important phases of 
the forestry situation in each region is taken up. For the pur- 
pose of brevity, these regions have been subdivided along 
broad lines. For example, in the central hardwood region 
there are included the following local regions; the Piedmont 
Plateau, the eastern sprout hardwoods, the central woodlot 
region, etc. In some cases, as in the northern and southern 
Rockies, similar types of timber occur in two different re- 
gions so that the lines of demarkation between the regions 
are very broad and general. 



Cleveland, Treadwell, Jr. — The Status for Forestry in the United States. 

Forest Service, Circular 167. 
Forest Service. — Circular 171. Forests of the United States: Their Use. 
Zon, Raphael. — The Future Use of Land in the United States. U. S. Forest 

Service, Circular 159. 
Zon, Raphael. — Forest Resources of the World. U. S. Forest Service, 

Bulletin 83. 


Location and Boundary. — The portion of the timbered 
area of the United States considered as the Northern Forest 
comprises the northern portion of Minnesota, Wisconsin and 
Michigan, and ranges from there south along the Appalachian 
Mountains as far as northern Georgia. In the Northeast the 
bulk of Pennsylvania and New York and all of Vermont, 
New Hampshire and Maine are included within this region. 

The total area of land surface, as included within these 
limits, will approximate 240,000,000 acres, gross. The net 
area, or the portion within this region actually covered with 
forest, would be extremely difficult to estimate. Maine, for 
instance, is very heavily wooded, having approximately two- 
thirds of its surface heavily covered with forest, while other 




states, like Massachusetts, have a comparatively small portion 
covered with forest, and still others, like Michigan and Min- 
nesota, which were primarily lumber states and possessed at 
one time splendid areas, now have their timbered areas badly 
broken by vast stretches of waste land, which are the results 
of careless cuttings and forest fires. 

The territory which is here described in reality contains a 
wide variety of forest types and conditions. The changes in 

Fig. 52. — Outlook from Fire Station in the Adirondacks. 
The view is typical of the cut-over spruce regions in northern New York. 
If forest fires follow lumbering, the litter may be consumed and nothing left 
but bare rock. 

forest cover are largely due to topography and climate, and 
so a word or two concerning the physiography of the region 
is necessary. 

Practically all of the northern portion was covered by the 
ice pack during the glacial epoch, and as a consequence, the 
soil, topography and drainage are decidedly irregular. Vast 


outwash plains of nearly pure sand may alternate with heavier 
clays; drumlins in great number are found, and countless 
lakes, swamps and slow streams are also found, especially in 
northern Maine and New York. 

The southern part, including the Appalachian Mountains, 
has never been glaciated, consequently the drainage is more 
regular and the numerous swamps are lacking. The soils, 
however, are quite variable, ranging from the barren sand to 
heavy clay loams. The sandy soils, however, are much more 

The topography presents many striking variations from 
the sandy flats of the Lake States to the rugged mountain 
slopes of the White Mountains and the Appalachians. While 
there are considerable stretches of fertile agricultural land, 
especially in New York and Pennsylvania, rugged topography 
is the rule. The maximum elevation is reached in North 
Carolina (Mt. Mitchell, 67 n feet), with Mt. Washington 
(New Hampshire), 6290 feet, a close rival. The majority 
of this region lies above 500 feet, and most of the southern 
extension above 2000 feet. The average annual precipitation 
ranges from twenty to seventy inches, the latter being the 
maximum in the southern Appalachian region. 

Forest Characteristics. — Within this region several sub- 
types or subregions might be differentiated, viz., the spruce 
region of the Northeast, the pine region of the Lake States, 
and the hardwood region of New York, Pennsylvania and 
the Appalachian Mountains. The characteristics of each of 
these will be briefly described. 

The spruce forest of New England and northern New 
York is confined principally to the higher slopes of the moun- 
tains. It is composed in the main of tolerant species which 
form a mixed forest of uneven ages. The chief species are 
red, white and black spruce, red and white pine, balsam fir, 


hemlock, tamarack, white cedar, hard maple, beech and birch 
(yellow and paper) and aspens are found in considerable 
quantity. The optimum region for red spruce occurs within 
the area. On the headwaters of the Androscoggin River and 
upon the upper slopes of the White Mountains the heaviest 
stands of pure spruce are found. The spruce stands of the 
Adirondacks, on account of the gentler slopes and deeper 
soils, are apt to have hardwoods intermixed to the extent of 
fifty to sixty per cent. 

The hardwood part of this region contains two distinct 
subdivisions, the so-called northern hardwoods, and the 
Appalachian hardwoods. 

The former is found in the New England states and in 
New York at a lower elevation than the spruce type; it is 
composed of the same shade-bearing hardwoods found mixed 
with the spruce, viz., beech, yellow and paper birches, and 
hard maple in the virgin forest, while the aspens are found 
to a large degree taking possession of the burns. 

The southern portion of this subtype is found at higher 
elevations than the former; the species are quite different, 
being intolerant for the most part, and the conifers present 
are found only at the highest elevations. The abundant 
rainfall, the long growing season and the soils, for the most 
part entirely adequate, make this an ideal region for tree 
growth. Out of the 500 tree species indigenous to the 
United States, approximately 135 are found in the Southern 
Appalachians. Chestnut, basswood, chestnut oak and yellow 
poplar find here the optimum region for their development, 
while such species as black, white and red oak are found of 
splendid size and development, but not in their optimum region. 

Perhaps the best example of a true forest region may be 
found in the Lake States portion of the northern forest. With 
extremely light soils the rule, with fairly high precipitation 


ranging from twenty to forty inches per annum, with vast 
areas of swamps, muskegs and barrens, a large portion of this 
subdivision is better suited to raising timber than to agri- 
culture. Here the forest is largely coniferous, and occurs for 
the most part in even aged stands. White pine is found at 
its optimum, with unusually favorable conditions for Norway 
and Jack pine. Of the hardwoods found, yellow birch, hard 
maple and beech are the most important. Elm, basswood 
and paper birch are found mixed with the other hardwoods 
on the heavier soils, but only in light stands. White pine is 
found on the lighter soils and may be intermixed with aspen 
and paper birch on moist sites, and with Norway pine on the 
drier ones. 

The lightest and driest soils are generally occupied by Jack 
pine, a species which shows a remarkable power to occupy 
areas laid waste by fire. Considering the forest as a whole, 
we find lumbering the oldest industry in the northern forest. 
The first sawmill in the New World was erected at Berwick, 
Maine, in 1631. While sadly diminished by reckless cutting 
followed by forest fires of which the Lake States pineries 
can furnish many mournful examples, this region is still sup- 
plying considerable timber and pulpwood. With proper 
management it will continue to do so for some time to 

Silvicultural Treatment. — On account of the variety of 
conditions found within this region no single method of forest 
management can be prescribed. 

In the spruce region selection cuttings are generally prac- 
ticed, although on shallow soils and steep slopes clear cuttings 
may be necessary. When mixed forests are handled, the 
hardwoods are generally cut to as small a diameter limit as 
the market will permit, in order to favor the faster growing 
and more desirable spruce. 


The recent increase in the value of the northern hardwoods 
has made more intensive forestry practice possible. One of 
the largest paper concerns of the Northeast has been thinning 
its hardwood land quite heavily, and underplanting with 300 
to 500 Norway spruce seedlings per acre. 

Within the pine forests in the Lakes States and to a less 
degree in New York and Pennsylvania, a clear cutting 
system must be used as their light requirements will not per- 
mit the use of the selection system. The ground may be cut 
entirely clear, leaving three to five seed trees per acre, or 
young thrifty trees may be left in groups, twenty to thirty 
per acre, which will eventually cover the area with young 
seedlings. Leaving seed trees in groups is to be preferred in 
regions where high winds prevail, or where the trees to be left 
are not especially windnrm. 

In the northern hardwood portion, extensive management 
will be practiced for some time, in spite of the fact that the 
forest occurs largely in connection with agricultural land. The 
trees being tolerant, they, for the most part, can be handled 
according to the selection system, and the undesirable trees 
removed to favor such species as maple, birch, ash and bass- 
wood. In the case of the two latter species, more light may 
be needed than the selection system will give, and the group 
stand method or shelterwood system may then be used. 

The Appalachian hardwoods present a rather difficult prob- 
lem in management, on account of the extreme complexity 
of the forest. Such species as cucumber, white ash, yellow 
poplar and white oak should be favored, but, as a rule, they 
have been largely removed from the stand during previous 
lumbering operations. The problem consists of perpetuat- 
ing the trees of greatest market value; those which it is the 
greatest temptation to cut. Clear cutting with proper seed 
trees is the best system to employ, and in some cases mer- 


charitable trees must be left in order to provide for seed. 
Undesirable species should be cut clear if a market is avail- 
able; if not, " girdling " may be practiced, which will prevent 
them from reproducing or shading out more desirable repro- 

Protection. — Throughout the coniferous portion of the 
Northern Forest, fires by all odds inflict the greatest damage. 
Vast areas have been laid waste in the pineries of the Lake 
States, and the steep slopes of the White Mountains and 
Adirondacks have been heavily cut and badly burned. Where 
the thin soils of mountainous regions are burned over 
and then exposed to the wash of melting snows, the destruc- 
tion is seen at its worst. Practically nothing but rock is 
left, and it will take centuries of weathering to produce 
enough soil to grow a merchantable crop of timber. 

The responsibility for fires may be divided among railroads, 
sportsmen, farmers and ignorant foreigners from the manu- 
facturing towns. Legislation controlling the railroads has 
been passed in practically all of the northern states. Spark 
arresters are required, ash pans must be kept in repair, and 
in New York state, the Public Service Commission has forced 
the Adirondack railroads to burn oil in their locomotives 
during the danger period. 

Controlling a responsible corporation is a comparatively 
easy task when the aid of a State Commission is invoked. 
In addition the transportation companies are beginning to 
realize that attractive green forests are an asset both from 
an esthetic and a commercial standpoint. The irrespon- 
sible individual, who sets the woods on fire with a pipe, 
camp fire, or when burning fallow, is much more difficult 
to reach. Education of the public, commencing with the 
school children and carried on for years, is the ultimate solu- 
tion. This method is being pursued by the State Foresters 


and educational institutions within this region. Protective 
machinery to prevent and combat fires, forest rangers, look- 
out stations, etc., are very necessary, but in the final analysis, 
it is a matter of educating the people. Certain precautions 
to prevent fires are possible, and brush in extremely danger- 
ous localities should be gathered in piles or burned. The New 
York Conservation Commission has recently reinforced the top- 
lopping law, after a successful trial extending over three years. 

Other injurious agencies that might be mentioned are 
windthrow and windbreak, occurring quite frequently in 
stands of spruce and balsam. If light thinnings are made 
on ordinary sites, and if clear cuttings are made on exposed 
localities, serious damage may be avoided. 

Insects are occasionally troublesome. The spruce bark 
beetle has killed considerable timber at different times, espe- 
cially in the Androscoggin drainage. The white pine weevil 
attacks the leaders of young, open-grown pines in various 
sections, and the larch sawfly has on several occasions badly 
damaged the northern forests. 

By cutting and soaking the infected spruce timber after 
August, the beetles may be disposed of; the weevil can be 
checked by removing and burning the infested tops during 
June and July; the sawfly practically defies attack, but 
since 1882 the amount of damage inflicted has been quite 

In the parts of this region where the northern hardwoods 
prevail, fire damage is much less serious on account of the 
less inflammable nature of the stand. The leaves of the 
hardwoods decompose more readily and the forest floor as a 
consequence is less inflammable. In addition, the broken 
nature of the woodlot renders extensive fires impossible. 

Grazing, however, is particularly harmful in northern 
hardwood forests. Cattle are especially fond of browsing on 


the seedlings of sugar maple, and, as a consequence, are apt 
to interfere with the natural regeneration of this desirable 
species. No woodlot which contains young reproduction or 
which is to be regenerated by natural means should ever be 
grazed. Seedlings will be bitten and trampled, and the soil 
rendered too compact for a tiny seedling to take root. 

In the Appalachian country grazing is still worse than 
in the North. The cattle browse upon all the succulent 
hardwood seedlings and are especially fond of tulip poplar; 
the hogs with their keen appetite for acorns practically pre- 
vent the seedling regeneration of the oak. The most im- 
portant feature of grazing, however, is its bearing upon 
forest fires. The inhabitants of this region believe that 
frequent forest fires improve the pasturage and unless stock 
laws can be passed which will restrict cattle and hogs, annual 
forest fires will continue. 

Watershed protection is a phase of forest management 
that here assumes enormous importance. With the steep 
slopes and compact soil that prevail and the heavy rainfall 
descending in frequent thunder storms, erosion and flood 
inflict a heavy toll. Steep slopes have been cleared which 
should have remained in forest. Heavy grazing and forest 
fires have added to the predisposing influences. The damage 
is not only inflicted where the slopes have been denuded by 
the flood waters, but they submerge fertile bottom lands in 
the Piedmont region and often render them useless by cover- 
ing them with layers of sand and gravel. Extensive re- 
forestation of the steeper slopes as a reinforcement to a series 
of dams and reservoirs, is the only practicable solution of this 

The Federal Government, acting under the Weeks Act, has 
already acquired about 1,000,000 acres in this region confined 
entirely to the headwaters of navigable streams. 


Utilization. — The manufacturing and marketing of the 
products of the northern forest is a problem comparatively 
easy to solve on account of the dense population of the region, 
thereby creating a strong demand and a stable market. The 
transportation facilities also are entirely adequate to a proper 
distribution of both raw and manufactured material. 

Within the spruce region the situation is entirely satisfac- 
tory. The countless streams permit economical transporta- 
tion of logs to the manufacturing centers and the fact that 
there is hardly a point in the region more than 300 miles 
from a city of the first or second class makes for profitable 
marketing of forest products. 

Wood pulp is the principal product, and two states, New 
York and Maine, together consume about 2,000,000 cords 
per annum. This has proved to be such a profitable form in 
which to market the soft woods that some of the largest 
stumpage owners have discontinued the manufacture of lumber 
and are putting all of their material into pulp. 

The northern hardwoods are at present rapidly appreciating 
in value, and their uses are increasing in number. Aside 
from furniture, flooring, etc., minor industries, like last blocks, 
basket veneers, slack cooperage, whip butts, etc., are examples 
of the forms in which the hardwoods finally appear upon the 
market. Paper birch has especial value for shoe pegs and 
spools, which are turned out in large quantities. 

The pine lumber of the East is largely manufactured into 
box and barn boards, bucket stock and interior trim. On 
account of the variation in sizes needed, very close utiliza- 
tion is possible. In fact, in certain parts of Massachusetts, 
white pine may be cut to a three-inch top. The Lake States 
pine is cut and manufactured on a far more extensive scale 
and markets may be a considerable distance from the raw 
material. Lumber of all dimensions is the product, and the 
utilization is by no means as close as in the East. 



Fig. 53- —Virgin Forest of White Pine, Minnesota National Forest, 


First growth of white pine may become 6 feet in diameter and 160 feet high. 
Such specimens take from 250 to 300 years to attain this size. 


The hardwoods of the Appalachian region have had a rising 
market for the last two decades, but the end of virgin timber 
is already in sight. The most important local industry has 
been lumbering, with railroad ties as a very important phase. 
Within the last few years the number of portable sawmills 
has greatly increased and this fact, in connection with the 
opening of new areas of soft coal, will permit of more local 
manufacture, and a closer utilization of hardwoods for mine 
props, logging, etc. Minor industries, like the manufacture 
of cooperage stock, and the gathering of tan bark, etc., are 
quite common. Chestnut extract has been of great impor- 
tance on account of the larger percentage of tannin in south- 
ern than in northern hardwoods. With the spread of the 
chestnut blight this region may be forced to utilize enormous 
quantities of chestnut wood in this fashion. 

Special Problems. — From the standpoint of Federal im- 
portance, the Appalachian Acquisition in compliance with 
the Weeks Act is doubtless the largest problem in the region. 
For years the farmers in the lowlands have had their lands 
submerged by disastrous floods, due primarily to the combina- 
tion of overcutting and forest fires on the steep slopes of the 

Owing to the fact that these headwaters were often in other 
states, Federal aid was necessary, and in 1910 the Weeks 
Act was passed by Congress to permit the government to 
acquire land upon the watersheds of navigable streams. 
Already, over 1,000,000 acres have been purchased, largely 
in the southern Appalachian Mountains. 

It is planned to create National Forests in these regions 
and to so manage this land as to improve its water-holding 
capacity, thereby greatly reducing the damage formerly 
occasioned by erosion and floods. 

In the Lake States planting the enormous stretches of 


barrens and forest land laid waste by fire is a problem of great 
importance, with taxation and fire risk as limiting factors. 
In addition, a mistaken conception of the value of some of 
these lands for agriculture has checked the proper develop- 
ment of a forest planting policy. 

In the Northeast, notably in Maine and New York, the 
proper development of water powers is of increasing impor- 
tance. With discoveries permitting long-distance transmis- 
sion of electric power the value of mountain streams and lakes 
is rapidly appreciating and the importance of forests in con- 
trolling run-off in some cases equals their value as sources 
of timber. 

Future of Forestry in this Region. — It is safe to say that 
no forest region in the United States has a brighter outlook 
for the practice of intensive forestry during the next two or 
three decades than the northern forest. With the center of 
population but a few hundred miles west of its margin, with 
splendid markets and transportation facilities already devel- 
oped, with vast areas better suited to timber production than 
to agriculture, the conditions necessary for extensive forest 
management are even now satisfied. First to be exploited 
by the colonists, the recuperative power of the northern 
forest has proved remarkable. The Lake States, considered 
exhausted twenty years ago, are still yielding splendid harvests 
of timber; Maine cut over first for pine masts is now yielding 
her third and fourth crop of timber. 

With proper protection and intelligent use, the forest soils 
of this region will supply its inhabitants with timber, build- 
ing materials, etc., for centuries to come. 


Bowman. Isaiah. Forest Physiography. John Wiley and Sons, New York. 
Cary, Austin". Practical Forestry on a Spruce Tract in Maine, U. S. Forest 
Service, Circular 131. 


Graves, Henry S. Practical Forestry in the Adirondacks. U. S. Forest 
Service Bulletin 26. 

Hawley and Hawes. Forestry in New England. John Wiley and Sons, 
New York. 

Pinchot, Gifford. The Adirondack Spruce. 

Roth, Filibert. Timber Conditions in Minnesota, Twenty-first annual 
report, United States Geological Survey, page 6. 

Zon, Raphael. Result of Cuttings on the Minnesota National Forest. Pro- 
ceedings of Society of American Foresters. Vol. VII, No. 1. 


Location and Boundary. — The southern pine region in- 
cludes the portion of the country along the Atlantic and Gulf 
coasts from southern New Jersey to eastern Texas. For 
the greater part it is a belt of forest stretching from 150 to 
250 miles in from the coast, although it begins as a narrow 
point at the extreme north and gradually widens to its 
greatest extent in the lower Mississippi River valley. For 
the most part it covers the coastal plain of the South. 

The region is largely bounded on the north by the central 
hardwood region. On the west it touches the prairie or 
fringe forest. It includes all of Louisiana, which is the prin- 



cipal center of yellow pine production, and most of North 
Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Missis- 
sippi, Arkansas and eastern Texas. 

For the past decade the southern pineries have been the 
producing center of our lumber supply and at the present 
time, the four southern yellow pines, longleaf, shortleaf, 
loblolly and Cuban, comprise over one third of the total 
annual lumber cut of the United States. This region also 
produces all of the turpentine, rosin and other naval stores. 

The topography is generally flat or gently rolling. Along 
the foothills of the Piedmont Plateau, however, some of the 
land included within the southern pineries is distinctly hilly, 
as in Alabama. Throughout the region the broad plains or 
flats are broken by low lying stream courses which are often 
estuaries for several miles from the coast. 

The climate may be characterized as warm and humid with 
abundant rainfall, all of which are very conducive to tree 
growth. The growing season is the longest of any region 
excepting in California. 

The soils are largely sandy, especially in Georgia, Florida, 
Texas and South Carolina, giving rise to the name " sand 
barrens." These are largely responsible for the slow growth 
of the pines. 

The southern portion of the Florida peninsula contains a 
distinctly tropical vegetation and is therefore not included 
in this region. It is characterized by a heavy precipitation, 
60 to 70 inches, and the presence of a great variety of spe- 
cies, about 75 of which are not found in other parts of the 
country. The principal species are the mangroves, Jamaica 
dogwood, mahogany, lignum vitae, corkwood and the mastic. 
The most valuable trees are the mangroves, on account of 
their soil-forming qualities along the sea coast and the fact 
that they contain a high per cent of tannin. 



Forest Characteristics. — This region is largely coniferous 
as opposed to the other eastern regions and the forests cover 
about 75 per cent of the total land surface. It is estimated 
that between 40 and 50 per cent of the area will always be 
retained in forest growth, on account of the sterility of the 
sandy pine barrens for agricultural purposes. 

Fig. 54. — Turpentine Orchard, Santa Rosa Co., Florida. 
The new system of collecting the resin in cups is less wasteful than the old 
box system. 

This is the home of the longleaf pine, the most important 
tree of the region, and which, together with Douglas fir, pro- 
duces a good share of the. country's timber supply. 

The forest in the Southeast may be characterized as follows: 

(1) Preponderance of coniferous growth. 

(2) The present producing center of the country's lumber 
supply and therefore a very active logging region. 

(3) The forest is severely affected and injured by surface 

(4) The forest is being severely injured by the old methods 
of turpentining. 


The principal conifers in order are: longleaf pine, shortleaf 
pine, loblolly pine, cypress, Cuban pine and red cedar. All 
of these, excepting cypress, grow on the drier uplands and 
sand barrens. Loblolly pine and Cuban pine also require 
some moisture. 

The hardwoods grow along the streams and in the bottom- 
lands and swamps in association with the cypress. Most of 
the latter is limited to the swamps bordering the coast and 
the lower Mississippi Valley. The principal hardwoods are 
tupelo, cottonwood, red gum, ash, yellow poplar, sycamore, 
elm, several oaks, hickories and hackberry. 

The forest may therefore be divided into two broad types 
based on site factors, that is, the presence of moisture, char- 
acter of soils, etc. 

In the coniferous type there are several variations, ranging 
from the pine longleaf or pure shortleaf type to the mixed 
conifers and hardwoods and the loblolly pine type. The 
Cuban pine requires the most moisture of any of the pines; 
loblolly pine requires at least a moist, deep soil; but longleaf 
seems to flourish on dry sandy barrens where no other trees 
seem to grow. The latter will not grow on moist soils. The 
average coniferous forest will cut about 5000 board feet to the 
acre although many stands will average from 10,000 to 20,000 
board feet in restricted localities. 

The hardwood and cypress type changes with the relative 
amounts of moisture present. In the bottomlands, over- 
flowed a portion of the year, cypress sometimes grows in pure 
stands. Usually, however, water gums, water hickory and 
red bay are associated with it. Along most of the streams, 
hardwoods predominate to the exclusion of the cypress. 
Altogether in this lowland type, stands running up to 50,000 
board feet to the acre are common. The average merchant- 
able stand will cut from 8000 to 12,000 board feet to the acre. 


Silvicultural Treatment. — No systematic plans for forest 
management have been adopted for any length of time in 
this region so that it has had very little silvicultural treatment 
of any kind. Practically all of the forest is in the hands of 
large owners instead of at least partial state or Federal gov- 
ernment control as in other regions. The forest is being 
rapidly cut off and on account of the prevalence of fires, re- 
production has a poor chance to get started. 

The longleaf pine grows in unevenaged stands or groups 
and will be handled either by a rough adaptation of the 
shelterwood system or a clear cutting and leaving seed trees. 
It grows exceedingly slow and therefore the more rapid grow- 
ing loblolly and shortleaf pines should be encouraged in its 
place wherever possible. Because of its slow growth, long- 
leaf pine as well as cypress, for the same reason, will probably 
not be important trees in the future. They are certainly too 
slow growing for forestry purposes. The most hopeful tree 
from the viewpoint of the future is the loblolly pine. It 
seeds abundantly, reproduces thriftily and vigorously and is 
one of the most rapid growing trees in the country under 
normal conditions. Its wood is not of such high technical 
qualities as the longleaf or shortleaf pine but it yields a wood 
that is very good for general lumber and boxboard purposes. 

The hardwood type will be handled on some adaptation 
of the selection system. Most of the trees grow fairly rapidly 
and many of them will flourish under shade so that the larger 
specimens can be cut out from time to time as they reach or 
approach maturity. The best trees to favor in the bottom- 
lands and along the streams are ash, oaks, yellow poplar, 
Cottonwood, red gum and hickory on account of their high 
commercial value and comparatively rapid growth. 

Very little planting has been resorted to in this region. 
The lumbered areas have either been cleared for farming or 



Fig. 55. — A Cypress Swamp along the Lower Mississippi River. 

Cypress is one of our most valuable timber trees on account of its durability, 
soft, even texture, and excellent seasoning qualities. Owing to the difficulty 
in reproducing itself, it will not be an important tree of the future. 


left to burn over annually. The best trees for planting are 
loblolly pine, red oak, yellow poplar, ash and cottonwood. 
The latter is easily reproduced from cuttings. 

Protection. — The South undoubtedly suffers as much from 
forest fires as any other region. They are limited, however, 
to grass fires. But these burn over the forest practically 
every year and great damage results not only in the preven- 
tion of satisfactory reproduction but in the burning of mer- 
chantable timber and the destruction of the turpentine boxes. 

The open character of the timber growth permits of a loose, 
grassy undergrowth. In the spring and fall the dried grass 
is usually fired by the natives to provide better forage for the 
cattle and hogs in the summer season. This has been such 
a deep-rooted custom that it is very difficult to advocate any 
protective measures. 

Fires are especially disastrous to the turpentine industry. 
Fires get into the boxes and the base of the trunk and the tree 
is eaten away or is easily blown over by the wind. 

Fires can be easily stopped by plowing in the porous sand; 
by beating them out; or by stopping them at roads, trails, 
fences, etc. 

Insect depredations have been spasmodic in the South. 
The southern pine beetle has broken out in several recurrent 
attacks, doing enormous damage to standing trees. 

Fungi are most abundant on account of the humid, moist 
climate, and much of the standing timber is heart rotten. 
" Bluing," a stain on the sap of freshly sawed lumber, is also 
a common result of fungous action in this region. 

Utilization. — As mentioned before, this is the producing 
center of both the lumber and naval stores industries and the 
vast pine stands have been so abundant that little attention 
has been paid to a close and economic utilization of the raw 
products. However, with the rapid logging of the forests, 


improvements in the tapping of the longleaf pine for tur- 
pentine and rosin have been introduced by Dr. Herty (see 
Chapter X on the naval stores industry) and others with a 
considerable saving. Within recent years great improve- 
ments have been made in the utilization of the refuse of the 
large sawmills chiefly through pine distillation. Most of the 
lumber from this region is consumed in the North and al- 
together the opportunities for close utilization outside of 
wood distillation and the naval stores industry are somewhat 
limited. Some of the large sawmills are now utilizing their 
waste in the manufacture of paper. 

At the present rate of cutting the South will soon be de- 
pleted of her virgin timber supplies unless proper measures are 
adopted to perpetuate the forests. The lumber industry is 
one of the greatest assets of the South and it could be placed 
on the same basis in respect to its forests as the other regions 
if a better public spirit in regard to its natural resources 
were aroused. 

Special Problems. — The special problems peculiar to this 
region may be summed up as follows : 

(i) The prevention of grass fires. The solution of this 
problem will materially result in perpetuating both the timber 
supply and the naval stores industry. Fires are not necessary 
for good forage for the cattle and hogs and the lumbermen are 
rapidly becoming converted to the opinion that fires are very 
detrimental to their interests. 

(2) The awakening of the public opinion on the forestry 
situation. The South has been the most backward in regard 
to both state and private activity in conserving its forest 
resources. Public concern in regard to the prevalent forest 
fires is still to be aroused. With the further economic devel- 
opment of the South and the rapid cutting of the yellow pine 
and cypress stands, the public is sure to take the same interest 
in forestry as in New England and the Middle Atlantic States. 


Future of Forestry in Region. — As stated before about 
40 to 50 per cent of the southern pine region will probably 
always be devoted to some form of forest growth. Sooner or 
later fire protection must be maintained on this area, which 
will be the first step in the progress of forestry in this section. 
With fire protection assured, the forests will admirably adapt 
themselves to the various forms of forestry practice. 

Longleaf pine and cypress will probably be eliminated in 
the future forests and other rapid growing trees will take 
their places. 

The future of forestry is assured in this region wherever 
the fire problem is solved for the following reasons: 

(1) Rapid growth, caused by the warm climate. 

(2) Easy reproduction, providing fires are kept out. 

(3) Easy logging and log transportation conditions. 

(4) There are large areas unsuited to agriculture that must 
be devoted to forest culture. 


Chapman, C. S. A Working Plan for Forest Lands in Berkeley Co., South 
Carolina. U. S. Forest Service, Bulletin 56. 

Foster, J. H. Forest Conditions in Louisiana. U. S. Forest Service, Bul- 
letin 114. 

Mohr, Chas. Timber Pines of the United States. U. S. Forest Service, 
Bulletin 13. 

Reed, F. W. A Working Plan for Forest Lands in Central Alabama. U. S. 
Forest Service, Bulletin 68. 

Schwartz, G. F. The Longleaf Pine in Virgin Forest. 

Zon, Raphael. The Loblolly Pine in Eastern Texas. U. S. Forest Service, 
Bulletin 64. 


Location of Boundary. — The forest area that is described 
as the central hardwoods region extends from Massachusetts 
on the north, south along the Piedmont plateau between 
the Appalachian Mountains and the Coastal Plain to northern 
Georgia and Alabama; northwest through central Illinois 
to western Minnesota. Its area contains approximately 
250,000,000 acres. 

The topography is comparatively low and rolling, the eleva- 
tion ranging from sea level to one thousand feet. The soils 
are deep, and often rich enough for agriculture. The small 
amount of swamp land present can often be drained, so that 
there is little true forest soil within the region. 



The annual precipitation ranges from thirty to forty-two 
inches, and is well divided between the dormant and growing 
seasons. With soils of agricultural character prevailing, and 
with abundant precipitation, this region is destined for 
agricultural development, and will never produce timber 
enough for export. However, fencing, fuel, and domestic 
building material must be raised, and in some portions the 
dual purpose windbreak is of great importance. 

Small holdings are the rule in the central hardwoods region, 
although in the southern parts some good-sized timber tracts 
may be found. The bulk of the timber, however, is in the 
form of farm woodlots, or more precisely stated, is owned in 
connection with agricultural land. 

Forest Characteristics. — The forest is characterized by the 
following distinctive features: 

1. The predominance of hardwoods. The old field pine 
type of the Piedmont regions is not to be overlooked, but its 
importance is relatively small in comparison with the hardwood 
type. Practically all of the hardwood timber supply in this 
country, constituting about one-fifth of the total annual 
lumber cut, comes from this region. 

2. Large number of trees found in mixture. Within these 
boundaries are found the regions of optimum development 
of such species as white, red, black and pin oaks, yellow 
poplar, and beech, while hickory, white ash, black walnut, 
cottonwood, maples and cedar are also present in considerable 
quantities. In Illinois alone, there are found one hundred 
native tree species out of the five hundred common to the 
United States. 

3. Broken distribution of the woodland. This condition 
obtains to such a marked degree, especially in the western 
central part of the region, that the management of the forest 


is, to a large degree, affected by the absence of continuity. 
Wherever rough topography or low lands along rivers are 
found, the timber may occur in large bodies. 

The stand, as a whole, may be characterized as second 
growth hardwoods, containing a considerable number of 
veterans, singly or in groups, left over from the first cutting. 
The present condition of the woodland proves conclusively 
that a forest region may deteriorate as much when poorly 
managed as when wilfully abused, for the chief trouble has 
been the wrong point of view. There has been no extensive 
lumbering followed by forest fires which laid bare enormous 
areas as in the lake states, but the forests have not been re- 
garded as an asset. For the most part, they have been con- 
sidered an encumbrance to be removed with all speed, and, in 
some cases, timber has been piled and burned to clear the 
ground for tilling. In many cases, slopes have been clear cut 
that should have remained under forest cover, and now, rap- 
idly eroding hillsides and gravel-covered bottom lands prove 
conclusively that such areas should have been kept in forest. 

Where clear cutting has not been practiced, the forest, for the 
most part, has been extensively culled. The largest and best 
trees have been removed, leaving the less desirable specimens 
and forest weeds in possession of the soil. Thus, each suc- 
cessive tree generation has become less valuable than the 
previous one. Fires have inflicted the worst damage along 
the foothills of the Appalachians, but throughout the bulk of 
the region they can be quite easily controlled on account 
of the broken character of the woodland. 

Grazing is responsible for much deterioration of the forest 
in states like Ohio and Indiana. There, the woodlot is largely 
considered a part of the pasture with the result that it serves 
neither purpose well. The trees shade out the grass to a large 



Fig. 56. — Southern Appalachian Hardwoods. 
Chestnut, oak, ash, and yellow poplar in western North Carolina. 


extent, and the open forest floor, windswept and sunbeaten, 
is not sufficient to grow timber at a profitable rate. 

Silvicultural Treatment. — The most important step in 
improving forest conditions within this region is to change the 
point of view. As soon as the value of forests and wood 
products is realized, the owners themselves will take better 
care of their non-agricultural areas, and will endeavor to make 
them profitable. Much propagandist work has already been 
done by the Federal and State Forest officers that will eventu- 
ally show results. The actual plan of management in this 
region will vary considerably, depending on the type of 
forest, nearness to market, and relative intensiveness of 

In the Northeast, where sprout hardwoods prevail, the 
coppice system of management will doubtless be employed, 
with chestnut badly handicapped on account of the fungous 
disease (Endothea parasitica). The mixed forest should be 
the ideal, on account of its greater productiveness, and the 
reduced danger from fungous and moth attacks. 

Along the Piedmont area, wherever the shortleaf and 
loblolly pines form any part of the stand, their growth should 
be encouraged. The less desirable hardwoods should be dis- 
criminated against by heavy cutting, and the soil may, in some 
cases, be prepared by running hogs through the woods just 
before the fall of seed. Their sharp hoofs will break up the 
earth, and make a good catch more probable. 

In Ohio and Indiana, artificial regeneration must be re- 
sorted to on a large scale. The woodlots, for the most part, are 
open groves with very compact soil. The leaves have blown 
away for so many years that there is very little humus in the 
soil; the remaining trees are generally of the inferior varieties, 
or diseased specimens of the desired species. On the whole, 
better results will be obtained if such woodlots are clear cut 


and replanted, thereby obtaining the desired mixture and 
spacing at once. 

In bottom lands, where only a light culling has been made, 
natural regeneration is possible, but this, as a rule, requires a 
good broad market that will take care of all sizes and kinds 
of lumber. 

As before stated, planting in the open for windbreaks which 
furnish both fuel and protection is highly desirable wherever 
drying winds prevail. 

The species to favor where natural regeneration is employed, 
would be as follows: 

In the Northeast: White and red pines, red oak, ash, tulip, 
poplar and basswood. 

In the Piedmont area: Ash and tulip, red and white oak, 
hickory, loblolly and shortleaf pines. 

In Ohio and Illinois: Ash, yellow poplar, cucumber, black 
locust, red and white oaks, black cherry and hickory. 

In the latter region, white pine, white cedar, elm, red maple, 
ash, willow and the Russian wild olive are desirable for wind- 
break purposes, while catalpa and European larch may be 
planted for fence posts in addition to the timber trees men- 
tioned above. 

Protection. — The forest throughout this section is badly 
in need of protection against stock, fire, wind, etc., but grazing 
is, perhaps, the most difficult problem to handle, owing to lax 
custom in the past. Stock laws are more or less uncommon; 
cattle can roam at will, and it is necessary for owners to fence 
off their crops instead of confining their cattle. 

Grazing should be absolutely prohibited in the woodlands, 
unless the timber is practically mature and reproduction is 
not desired. It is impossible to use land advantageously for 
both grazing and timber production, for the cattle injure the 
seedlings, pack the soil and prevent reproduction. The trees 



Fig. 57. — Clump of Chestnut in Maryland. 
Before the outbreak of the chestnut bark disease (Endothea parasitica) the 
chestnut was one of the most highly prized sprout hardwoods. It grows fast, 
reproduces readily by sprouting and its wood is very durable. 


shade out considerable grass so that these two uses are not 
compatible. If more grass land is required, it would be far 
better to clear cut some of the poorest forest land to increase 
the pasturage, rather than to try to serve both purposes on 
the same piece of ground. 

Efficient fire protection is comparatively easy of accom- 
plishment on account of the small size of the average holding 
and the settled nature of the country. Insect and fungous 
diseases inflict comparatively little damage, and when present 
can be controlled by the usual methods. 

Utilization. — The question of marketing and utilizing the 
products of this region, like the management, varies in 
different parts of the region. Throughout New Jersey, 
Massachusetts, etc., the markets are unusually stable, and 
transportation facilities numerous. Here, intensive manage- 
ment and close utilization may be practiced. Thinnings may 
be made, and the material removed ordinarily finds ready sale 
as poles, posts, cordwood, etc. 

In the Piedmont area, the outlook is not so favorable, on 
account of the absence of such broad markets. There is no 
typical forest industry in the region, the larger portion of the 
lumber being sawed by small mills, many of which are of the 
portable variety. In the southern Appalachians, however, 
there are several large hardwood operations cutting largely 
yellow poplar, oak, hickory, maple, beech, ash, birch and 
basswood. Arkansas is also an important hardwood center, 
especially for red gum, oak and hickory. 

In the agricultural states like Indiana and Illinois, the 
possibilities for intensive management and close utilization are 
excellent. On account of the lack of true forest soil, local 
forest production will be on a comparatively small scale; 
intensive forestry will be the rule, and high prices should be 
obtained. Fence posts and farm timbers find a ready sale, 



and timber for building and construction purposes can be 
readily disposed of. Already, plantations established on soils 
of agricultural richness have shown a net revenue of over five 
dollars per acre per year. While not as profitable as tilled 
crops, domestic timber may be produced for the owner's use, 
with practically no labor outside of getting the plantation 
started, and a fair profit be obtained beside. 

Fig. 58. — Yellow Poplar and White and Red Oaks. 
The central hardwood region is the great source of our hardwood supply. 

Special Problems. — A good share of the woodlot holdings, 
comprising nearly two-fifths of our total remaining forested 
area in this country, lies in this region, and, consequently, the 
forestry situation is largely in the hands of the individual. 
There are no large areas of unseated land to be acquired by 
the State; there are no areas abandoned by previous owners 
as in Pennsylvania and Michigan ; there are few if any exten- 
sive water-sheds within the region which should be covered 


for the purpose of controlling run-off. It is true, however, 
that certain districts within the boundaries outlined are sub- 
ject to overflow at times, but the trouble, for the most part, 
lies outside this region, and the proper measures must be 
applied in other districts. The methods of building up the 
conditions of the run-down woodlot have been described 
previously in this chapter. 

For woodlot production fairly good returns can be assured, 
provided proper species are used, on account of the character 
of the soil, its depth, and the precipitation. As far as shelter- 
belts are concerned, the use of ten to fifteen per cent of the 
total area in a region subject to hot, drying winds will result 
in an increase in the agricultural crops, due to the checking 
of these winds, and to the increased relative humidity supplied 
by the alternate strips of forest cover. 

Future of Forestry in Region. — As has been stated 
previously, scarcely any region in the United States offers 
the opportunities for the practice of intensive forestry that 
the central hardwood region affords. The large cities in the 
Northeast mean a steady demand for material of all sizes, 
making close utilization possible; the excellent transportation 
facilities provide a means of getting the material to the con- 
sumer; the comparatively small holdings render intensive 
management feasible, as soon as the owners become convinced 
of the financial possibilities of forestry. The Federal Govern- 
ment and various State Forestry organizations are endeavor- 
ing to educate the private owners and assist them in every way 
possible, so that proper forest management, within the central 
hardwoods region, is a consummation that will doubtless be 
realized by the coming generation. 



Baker, Oliver. The Forest Problem in a Rich Agricultural County of Ohio. 

Forestry Quarterly, Volume VI, page 138. 
Bryant, R. C. Railroad Forest Plantation. Forestry Quarterly, Volume V, 

page 20. 
Frothingham, Earl H. Second Growth Hardwoods in Connecticut. U. S. 

Forest Service, Bulletin 96. 
Hawley, R. C. Treatment of Hardwood Lands in Southwestern Connecticut. 

Forestry Quarterly, Volume V, p. 283. 
Kellogg, R. S. Forest Planting in Illinois. U. S. Forest Service, Circular 81. 
Record, Samuel J. Suggestions to Woodlot Owners in the Ohio Valley 

Region. U. S. Forest Service, Circular 138. 
Spring, S. N. Forest Planting in Coal Lands in Western Pennsylvania. 

U. S. Forest Service, Circular 41. 


Location and Boundary. — The prairie or fringe forest 
represents largely the transitional zone from the central 
hardwood forest to the treeless plains of the prairies. In 
the extreme north, it is the western continuation of the 
northern forest and on the south it is the western extension 
of the southern pine forest. It extends from north to south 
through the eastern portions of North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. It in- 
cludes all of Iowa, southwestern Minnesota, northwestern 
Illinois and northwestern Missouri. It is very difficult, 
however, to draw a sharp borderline either on the eastern 
or western limits of this region. 



The topography is uniformly flat or gently rolling, broken 
by bluffs and gullies along the rivers and stream courses. 
The forested areas are almost wholly restricted to the bluffs, 
hillsides and stream banks. 

The whole region is essentially an agricultural one; the 
population is large; and although intensive agriculture is 
easily the principal occupation, manufacturing is on the rapid 

The climate is not generally conducive to a heavy forest 
growth, excepting along the eastern border of the region, 
because of the hot dry summers and long severe winters. 
There are unusually rapid fluctuations in temperature at all 
seasons and high drying winds are common. The latter 
features render windbreak and shelterbelt planting of con- 
siderable importance. The annual rainfall is comparatively 
low, especially in the western portion of the fringe forest. 
The amount of rainfall gradually diminishes from east to west. 
This fact has an important bearing on the forest cover. 

Forest Characteristics. — As the rainfall diminishes from 
east to west, so the forest, in the same relative proportion, 
decreases both in extent and variety of species from east to 
west. Along the eastern fringe there is a considerable por- 
tion of the land surface devoted to forest, whereas along the 
western border of the region, the forest is limited to the 
stream bottoms and contains very few species. 

In all of the portions of the states included within this 
region, the area devoted to forest is only from about two to 
fifteen per cent of the total land surface. Due to frequent 
fires, pasturage and severe cutting for fuel and farm timbers, 
the native forest has been heavily culled and injured, so that 
the remaining timber growth is largely scrubby and of an 
inferior nature. 

The character of the forest varies greatly from north to 


south but the change consists largely of a substitution of 
species in the same genera. For example, in the north the 
forest is characterized by open bur oak growth. In the 
south there is an increasing amount of southern oaks, osage 
orange, hackberry, southern elm, etc. 

Fig. 59. — Prairie Scene, Hall Co., Nebraska. 

The treeless condition of the prairies has been variously ascribed to deficient 
precipitation, repeated grass fires, too compact soils, tramping of buffaloes, 
etc., with the question still undecided. 

Altogether the principal species of the region are the oaks, 
among which the most common are the white, bur, red, 
black and scarlet. There is a great variety of associated 
species, such as the hickories, walnuts, maples, ash, elm, 
cottonwood, sycamore, black willow, box elder and bass- 
wood. Along the stream courses one finds only the cotton- 
wood, box elder, green ash and willow. The cottonwood 


extends along the main rivers all the way to the Rocky Moun- 
tains. In the central west the oaks and red cedar are the 
typical trees of the upper bluffs and uplands. Between these 
two extremes of soil and moisture conditions are found many 
other species. Even on a bluff 25 to 100 feet in height 
this variation in species is marked. A few species like the 
white elm and the ironwood (Ostrya virginiana) are found to 
the extreme west of the prairies and even to the Black Hills. 
Others like the cottonwood, aspen and box elder occur as far 
west as the Rockies. 

Since practically the only products of the region are fuel- 
wood, posts and a few other farm timbers, the forest is usually 
estimated in terms of cords or number of posts. Very little 
material for saw logs is available except in restricted localities 
where portable mills can be operated at a profit. 

The densely settled region and the development of agricul- 
ture render the native and planted timber of the highest 
importance in the economic life of this section of the country. 
Most of the land surface has apparently been treeless for a 
long period of time. This proportion of treelessness increases 
as one goes west and many attempts have been made to 
explain this situation. 

The following are the most important theories and expla- 
nations offered for the treelessness of the prairies: — 

1. Insufficient moisture. 

2. Constant grazing by the buffaloes and game animals. 

3. Soils too compact and heavy. 

4. Repeated grass fires. 

Most of the evidence seems to support the last-named theory. 

Silvicultural Treatment. — A large portion of the present 

native timber is of sprout origin, especially the oaks, maples, 

ash, basswood and hickories. The sprout method of regener- 


ation, invigorated from time to time by seedlings, will un- 
doubtedly continue to be the principal means of reproducing 
the forest. Thinnings for fuel and fence posts can be profit- 
ably undertaken from time to time on account of the intensive 
management possible. Wood products bring attractive prices 

Fig. 60. — A Windbreak in the Middle West. 

Windbreaks on the north and west sides of fields and homesteads are of 
great importance on prairies. Cottonwood, willow, catalpa, Norway spruce, 
white pine, red maple, and white spruce are commonly used. 

and make possible very careful and complete silvicultural 
treatment. The best species to favor in forest management are 
the oaks, locust, cottonwood, soft maples, ash and hickories. 
But the most important phase of silviculture will be devoted 
to plantations, not only for windbreaks and shelterbelts, but 
for the commercial growing of fence posts, fuel-wood and 
general farm timbers. The timber culture act, repealed in 
1891 by Congress, was responsible for most of the earlier 
plantations. Windbreaks were planted on the north and 


west sides of the homesteads and have proven to furnish 
efficient protection from the severe winds and snows, not only 
for the inhabitants but for the cattle and crops. In many 
cases fertile ground has been planted to catalpa, cottonwood, 
red maple, white pine and others and annual returns of from 
$4 to $10 per acre net have been commonly obtained. 

In the central portion of the fringe forest the trees recom- 
mended for general planting are cottonwood, red and Norway 
maples, European larch, Norway spruce, white pine, hardy 
catalpa, honey locust and green ash. 

In the northern portion the trees that seem to do best are 
the green ash, Russian olive, white willow, silver maple, white 
elm, Norway spruce and European larch. 

In the southern portion the best trees for planting are the 
catalpa, osage orange, green ash, Russian mulberry, honey 
locust, cottonwood, willows, hackberry, black walnut, red 
cedar and Kentucky coffee tree. 

For windbreak and shelterbelt planting, conifers are pre- 
ferred because the leaves are absent from the hardwoods 
during the winter when they are most needed. A triple row 
of conifers preferably white pine, white cedar, and Norway 
spruce planted closely together give excellent results. 

Protection. — Since most of the holdings are in small 
woodlots along the bluffs and streams and in plantations, 
very few phases of protection are of any serious importance. 
Owing to the lack of continuous forests, the fire problem is 
reduced to a minimum. A few grass fires occasionally do 
some damage but they are easily put out. Owing to the 
intense cultivation of the soil, the formerly large grass fires 
have been eliminated. 

The question of permitting grazing in woodlots and in 
growing plantations is the most serious phase of forest protec- 
tion. As in the central hardwood region, particularly in the 


Ohio valley, the pasturing of the open timbered areas is very 
common and has interfered considerably with the proper 
development and growth of the trees. The forested areas 
should be devoted exclusively to either pasturage purposes 
or for the growing of timber. The two are incompatible with 
each other on the same area for the best results. 

Utilization. — Owing to the rapid development of this great 
agricultural belt, it has been a great consumer of forest prod- 
ucts, especially of building lumber and timbers. This is the 
meeting ground in the consumption of vast quantities of 
lumber produced in the West, the South and the Lake States. 

Forest products bring excellent prices here. Fence posts 
and fuel-wood will always be in demand. They have, in fact, 
increased in value to such an extent that the farmers have 
taken up both the planting of post timbers and the preser- 
vative treatment of fence posts. The latter will assume large 
importance because cheap woods can readily be made to last 
as long as the cedars, catalpa, locust, white oak and other 
posts that have largely been brought in from other regions. 

Utilization of the raw products of the forest is as complete 
here as in any region and therefore forest management can 
be practiced on an intensive basis. Although very few saw 
logs are produced in these scattered prairie forests, many 
splendid specimens of walnut logs for furniture, veneers and 
gunstocks are produced as well as ash, hickory and osage 
orange stock for vehicle and implement material. 

Special Problems. — The two important special problems 
in forestry in the prairie region will be as follows : 

1. Planting of sufficient areas both to raise a supply of 
fence posts, fuel-wood, etc., to meet the local demand and to 
furnish efficient shelter to the home and the crops. In fur- 
therance of the fence post supply, wood preservation will be 


adopted in direct ratio with the increase in value of this val- 
uable commodity. 

2. The elimination of the cattle and sheep from the wood- 
lot. All of the pastured timber holdings are not reproducing 
satisfactorily and grazing must be eliminated if proper forest 
conditions are to be established. 

Future of Forestry in Region. — Forestry never has nor 
will reach the importance of agriculture or manufacturing 
in this region. It is primarily a farming section and practi- 
cally all of the soils are suited to agricultural development. 
However, on the steep gullies and bluffs, forests will always 
have their proper place and should receive adequate care and 
protection. Forestry is of least importance here of all the 
regions and is largely a farm woodlot and planting proposition. 
There is plenty of room for improvement, however, and the 
good work initiated by many of the state agricultural colleges 
to promote better care of the forestry interests should be 
further promoted and encouraged. 


Baker, H. P. Native and Planted Timber of Iowa. U. S. Forest Service, 

Circular 154. 
Baker, H. P., and A. T. Erwin. Evergreens for the Iowa Planter. Iowa 

State College, Bulletin 90. 
Clothier, G. L. Advice to Forest Planters in Oklahoma, etc. U. S. Forest 

Service, Bulletin 65. 
Fetherolf, J. M. Forest Planting on the Northern Prairies. U. S. Forest 

Service, Circular 145. 
Kellogg, R. S. Forest Planting in Western Kansas. U. S. Forest Service, 

Circular 171. 
Kellogg, R. S. Forest Planting in Illinois. U. S. Forest Service, Circular 81. 
Miller, F. G. Forest Planting in the North Platte and South Platte Valleys. 

U. S. Forest Service, Circular 109. 
Miller, F. G. Forest Planting in Eastern Nebraska. U. S. Forest Service, 

Circular 45. 
Waldron, C. B. Windbreaks and Hedges. North Dakota Agricultural 

College, Bulletin 88. 


Location and Boundary. — The northern Rocky Mountain 
forest lies along the northern half of the main continental 
divide and its outlying ranges and foothills. It includes 
central Montana, southern Idaho, eastern Oregon, most of 
Wyoming, northern Colorado, northeastern Utah and small 
portions in western South Dakota and Nebraska. It is 
separated from the prairie or fringe forest by a narrow belt 
of plains which are treeless except along the immediate banks 
of the rivers and large streams. 

This forest region for the most part occupies the mountain 
slopes above 4000 to 5000 feet in elevation and running up 

3 2 3 


to timber line at 9000 to 11,000 feet above sea level. The 
lower elevations included in the inter-mountain valleys and 
plains are treeless, and only require 'irrigation to make them 
very fertile agricultural lands. 

The topography is uniformly rugged and steep. Most of 
the principal rivers of the West, flowing both to the Atlantic 
and Pacific Oceans, have some of their sources in this region. 
Stream protection to prevent floods and furnish an equal flow 
for irrigation purposes is therefore of the utmost importance. 

The precipitation varies from about 12 to 20 inches per 
annum. The climate may be characterized as severe, giving 
a short growing season to the tree growth. High elevations, 
together with a small amount of rainfall and severe winds, 
render this region rather unfavorable for the best forest con- 

A large portion of the forested area has been set aside by 
the government in National Forests, so that the dual purpose 
of stream protection and timber production is being well 
taken care of. Private timber holdings are rather small in 
extent and have little influence on the national timber supply. 

The chief industries of this region are stock raising and 
mining which are largely developed in connection with the 
National Forests. In fact many of the National Forests in 
this region are largely " Grazing Forests." 

Forest Characteristics. — The forest is largely composed of 
yellow pine and lodgepole pine, together with a small amount 
of Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce and a few minor species, 
such as alpine fir, limber pine and white bark pine at the high 
elevations and Colorado blue spruce, aspen, etc. 

Probably 90 per cent of the timber is composed of western 
yellow pine and lodgepole pine, each growing usually in pure 
stands, the former at the lower elevations and the latter at 
the higher elevations. In central Montana, Wyoming, 



Fig. 61. — Typical Stand of Pure Lodgepole Pine. 

This species seldom grows over 2 feet in diameter or 80 feet in height but 
averages about 8,000 board feet per acre. It is the principal tree of the northern 
Rocky Mountains. 


eastern Idaho and northern Colorado there are vast pure 
stands of lodgepole pine ranging from 6000 to 9000 feet above 
sea level. The stands average about 8000 board feet per acre 
and seldom run over 16,000 feet. This pine never grows over 
26 inches in diameter and about 70 to 100 feet in height but 
the trees stand closely together arid acres containing 200 mer- 
chantable trees are common. It grows in even-aged stands 
and reproduces especially well on burns. The cones require 
considerable heat for opening but when once started by a 
fire a dense reproduction follows, stands of 50,000 young 
seedlings per acre being common. 

Yellow pine grows in open park-like stands and is usually 
found along the lower elevations and southerly aspects. 
Stands of pure yellow pine are characteristic of the Black 
Hills of South Dakota, southern Idaho and along the eastern 
slopes of the Rockies in Colorado and Montana. This tree 
usually occurs in even-aged groups and good merchantable 
stands run from 5000 to 15,000 feet per acre. 

The Douglas fir is occasionally mixed in with both the 
lodgepole pine and the yellow pine. The occurrence of spruce 
is governed wholly by the presence of moisture, therefore it 
is found along streams, seepage flows and even at high eleva- 
tions where sufficient moisture is afforded. Alpine fir (Abies 
lasiocarpa) and limber pine (Pinus flexilis) are the typical 
alpine species found at timber line and just below timber 

Altogether the forest in this region may be characterized 
by unusually slow growth, due to the severe climate, relatively 
small size and variety of tree growth, abundant natural re- 
production of the lodgepole pine, and the broken nature of the 
forest due to areas above timber line, open parks at high 
elevations and sage brush valleys and plains between moun- 
tain ranges. 


Silvicultural Treatment. — Although not of great impor- 
tance in contributing to the nation's timber supply, the forests 
of this region are of considerable local importance in supplying 
mine timbers, railway ties and timbers for local consumption 
in small town and homestead development. 

Fairly intensive methods of silvicultural treatment are 
therefore justified. Although the lodgepole pine is an intol- 
erant tree growing in even-aged stands and consequently is 
adapted to management by one of the clear cutting methods, 
it was found that on account of the danger from windfall and 
the lack of demand for the smaller trees and forest products, 
the selection system was best suited to these pure lodgepole 
pine stands. It was found that by piling and burning the 
brush on timber sales, and by cutting it down to an elastic 
diameter limit, satisfactory reproduction is established. On 
the Deerlodge National Forest in Montana practically every 
system of management was experimented with and the selec- 
tion system has recently proven to give the best results. On 
small timber sales, the government usually allows the logger to 
cut down to a minimum diameter limit of about ten to twelve 
inches. The spruce and alpine fir stands are ideally adapted 
to management under the selection system because they are 
tolerant trees and grow in all- aged stands. In addition, the 
forest cover is best maintained for protection purposes under 
the selection system. Douglas fir in this region is also cut 
under the selection system. On account of its more rapid 
growth and the excellent character of its wood, it is favored 
wherever possible as against lodgepole pine and other asso- 
ciates. Western yellow pine is handled under the selection 
system. In the Black Hills a rough adaptation of the shel- 
terwood system has been used. 

Owing to the large amount and size of the burns in this 
region, planting must be resorted to in order to fully stock 


the available areas. Best success is being obtained with 
western yellow pine, western white pine and Douglas fir. 
Under ordinary conditions the Forest Service is securing 
satisfactory natural reproduction on the timber sale cuttings 
on the National Forests. Practically all forestry work is 
being done by the government. 

Protection. — The whole northern Rocky Mountains have 
suffered very severely from forest fires in the past. Indians 
and the railroads have been the most serious causes of fires 
and on some of the National Forests as much as 60 per cent 
of the total area has been burned over. Crown fires are 
most common. When once started, the fire burns everything 
in its path, due to the dense coniferous stands, steep slopes 
and hot dry summers. Lodgepole pine has suffered especially 
in this respect. In the yellow pine types, grass fires are more 
common and consequently not so disastrous in their effects. 
The Forest Service is gradually securing most efficient pro- 
tection through proper brush disposal on logging operations, 
and by means of look-out points, telephones, trails, and special 
equipment for preventing and controlling fires. 

Windfall is very prevalent in the lodgepole pine forest. 
Owing to its dense habit of growth and shallow root system it 
is readily blown over by the wind. In marking trees for 
felling care is taken not to leave trees alone or improperly 
protected on exposed sites. 

The western pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosa) has done 
enormous damage to the western yellow pine, especially in the 
Black Hills of South Dakota where large areas have had to be 
cut to prevent the further spread of this insect. The whole 
system of management in fact has been moulded around 
this attack and active measures are being adopted to pre- 
vent its spread to other forests and suppress the present 


Utilization. — As mentioned before, most of the forest 
products are demanded for local consumption. The mines and 
railroads require considerable amounts of mine timbers and 
cross-ties. The Butte mining district requires the output of 
timber of most of its surrounding forested area. The lodgepole 
pine, except for its non-durability, makes an excellent mine 
and tie timber because of its natural size, for these purposes. 

The whole region contains large numbers of portable saw- 
mills, cutting lumber and timbers for local consumption. 
Very little lumber is shipped to outside territory. 

Lodgepole pine is used principally for mine props, stulls, 
lagging, cross-ties and rough lumber. Western yellow pine 
makes an excellent all around lumber for finishing and general 
purposes. Douglas fir is used for ties, poles, posts, construc- 
tion timbers and general lumber. 

Stumpage prices are still relatively low but with the in- 
creased development of the region, especially in population, 
the timber resources will be in great demand. The average 
stumpage prices received at the present time on the National 
Forests in this region are about as follows : For western yellow 
pine, $2 to S3; for lodgepole pine, $1.50 to $2.50; for Douglas 
fir, $2.50; for Engelmann spruce, $3. 

Much of the open timbered areas are grazed by cattle and 
sheep; in fact much of the government revenue is obtained 
from grazing fees at present from many of the National 
Forests, especially in Wyoming, central Montana and south- 
ern Idaho. 

Special Problems. — The forestry problems of this region 
may be summarized as follows: 

1. The regulation of the stream flow for irrigation, reser- 
voir and hydro-electric purposes, as well as to prevent erosion 
and floods, is of prime importance, especially at the sources 
of the principal streams flowing out of this section. 


The prevention of forest fires, together with the reforest- 
ation of the burned areas, are of great immediate importance 
and are gradually being solved. 

Future of Forestry in Region. — Although not one of the 
most important forest regions in the country, the northern 
Rockies will always serve an important purpose in supplying 
timber for the mines, railroads, ranches and the rapidly in- 
creasing building in the towns and cities. The forests are 
already under excellent management by the Forest Service 
and there is every reason to believe that this region will 
assume greater importance in fulfilling its part of the forestry 
program of the country. 

Due to the northerly climate, low rainfall, short growing 
season and high altitudes, the growth of the trees is slow. 
The rotation for the management of lodgepole pine will be 
from 80 to 140 years; Douglas fir is somewhat more rapid in 
its growth and can be handled on a rotation of about 70 to 
120 years. It does not grow here nearly as rapidly as on the 
Pacific slope. Western yellow pine usually does not attain 
the size here that it does on the Pacific coast or even in 
the Southwest and will require a rotation of about 80 to 
130 years. 


Bates, C. G. Silvicultural Systems of Management for Central Rocky Mts. 
Forests. Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters. Vol. 7, No. 1, 191 2. 

Bates, C. G., F. B. Notestein, and Peter Keplinger. Climatic Charac- 
teristics of Forest Types in the Central Rocky Mts. Proc. Soc. Amer. 
Foresters. Vol. IX, No. 1, 1914. 

Blumer, J. C. Rocky Mt. Seedling Growth. Forestry Quarterly, No. 2. 
Vol. IV, 1906. 

Brown, Nelson C. Reproduction of Lodgepole Pine in Relation to its Man- 
agement. Forestry Quarterly, No. 1. Vol. X, 1912. 

Clapp, E. H. Silvicultural Systems for Western Yellow Pine. Proc. Soc. 
Amer. Foresters. Vol. VII, No. 2, 191 2. 


Clements, F. E. The Life History of Lodgepole Burn Forests. U. S. Forest 
Service, Bulletin 79. 

Hodson, E. R. Silvical Notes on Lodgepole Pine. Proc. Soc. Amer. Forest- 
ers. Vol. Ill, No. 1, 1908. 

Hodson, E. R., and J. H. Foster. Englemann Spruce in the Rocky Mts. 
U. S. Forest Service, Circular 170. 

Leiberg, J. B. Forest Conditions in the Absaroka Division of the Yellowstone 
Reserve. U. S. Geological Survey. Prof. Paper 29. 


Location and Boundary. — The forest region designated as 
the Southern Rocky Mountain forest occupies the southern 
portion of the continental divide, together with its associated 
high plateaus and ranges. 

It is bordered on the south by Mexico and extends north 
to central Colorado and southern Idaho. It includes the 
forested portions of Arizona, New Mexico, southern Colorado, 
most of Utah, northeastern Nevada and a small strip in 
southern Idaho. 

There is no distinct line of demarkation between this region 
and the northern Rocky Mountain forest but it is separated 



from it because of the preponderance of the western yellow 
pine (Pinus ponderosa — also called yellow pine and bull 
pine) which comprises about 90 per cent of all the merchant- 
able timber of this region. The largest pure pinery in the 
world is said to exist in New Mexico and Arizona. 

The region is characterized by relatively high elevations, 
broad desert plateaus between the mountain ranges, hot dry 
climate and rainfall exceedingly low (from 5 to 20 inches per 

The principal industry of the region is grazing. Lumbering, 
however, is on the rapid increase and copper and coal mining 
are somewhat important in certain centers. Agriculture has 
been of little consequence in the past, but with several irri- 
gation projects initiated, fruit farming and general ranching 
are assuming greater importance, especially in Arizona and 
portions of New Mexico, Utah and southern Colorado. 

Most of the forested areas are in the National Forests, as 
is the case in all the western regions. The government is 
therefore paying special attention to stream protection and 
to the permanent upkeep of the sheep and cattle ranges, as 
well as to timber production. 

Forestry is therefore closely allied to the principal industries 
of the region, including grazing, mining, agriculture and lum- 

Forest Characteristics. — The commercial stands of timber 
lie higher in the mountains in this region than in any other 
region. There is practically no forest growth below elevations 
of about 5000 eet. At this altitude a few desert plants and 
trees are first noted. The yellow pine stands occupy the 
mountain slopes between elevations of about 6000 and 8500 
feet. Above this are found the transitional and alpine 
growths in which many species are present. Timber limits 
are found higher here than anywhere else in the country, the 


extreme being an elevation of about 12,400 feet. The forest 
growth is therefore largely determined by altitudinal and 
meteorological qualifications. 

The forest may be best described by subdividing it into 
the following distinct types that are typical throughout 
Arizona and New Mexico especially: 

1. Woodland or pinon pine type. This occurs just above 
the sage brush deserts, usually at elevations of from 5000 to 
6000 feet. It is not commercially important and acts as a 
fringe between the open deserts and the merchantable stands 
of yellow pine at higher elevations. The principal growth 
is composed of groups of juniper and pinon pine (Pinus 
edulis and pinus monophylla) together with some mesquite, 
(Prosopis juliflora) greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus) 
and others, among which are Gambel oak, cedar and cypress. 

2. Yellow pine type. This occurs usually at elevations of 
6000 to 8500 feet and embraces the bulk of the merchantable 
timber of the region. The stands are characterized by open 
park-like growth as in the southern pine stands. Occasion- 
ally aspen and Engelmann spruce are intermixed at the 
higher altitudes. Stands of merchantable timber will aver- 
age from 3000 to 5000 board feet per acre. Yellow pine here 
averages about 18 inches in diameter and about 70 feet in 
height. Occasional stands up to 30,000 board feet per acre 
are found. 

3. Transitional or fir type. This is a comparatively nar- 
row belt occurring at elevations of 8500 to 9500 feet and 
composed largely of a mixture of Douglas fir, white fir, 
Engelmann spruce, a few yellow pine and limber pine. 

4. Alpine type. This is found at the highest limits of 
timber growth, from about 9,500 up to 12,400 feet in eleva- 
tion. It is important chiefly for protection purposes. The 
chief trees are white fir, Arizona fir, bristle-cone pine, limber 


pine, aspen and Engelmann spruce. Pure stands of the last- 
named species are common. 

Altogether the southern Rocky Mountain forest is charac- 
terized by exceedingly slow growth, dominance of yellow 
pine, difficulty of securing reproduction and the fact that the 
principal forest growth is limited to the higher elevations and 
northerly aspects. 

Fig. 62. — Open Grazing Land and Alpine Forest. 
Taken at elevation of 10,000 feet. Holy Cross National Forest, Colorado. 

Silvicultural Treatment. — The important question in 
silvicultural management is the securing of a satisfactory 
reproduction when the forest is cut over in the government 
timber sales. The hot dry summers and the comparatively 
low annual rainfall render reproduction exceedingly difficult. 

In handling the yellow pine, the selection system is used. 


This tree, however, usually grows in this region, in even-aged 
groups, so that the group selection system is employed. The 
tops and brush are lopped and scattered on the ground to 
assist in shading the soil and therefore in aiding the germina- 
tion and initial growth of the desired reproduction. 

The other types are not of much importance from the stand- 
point of timber production and therefore receive little silvi- 
cultural attention. The pinon type supplies a little fuel and 
post material and whenever the transitional or fir zone is cut, 
it is handled on the single selection system, cutting down to 
a minimum diameter limit of about 10 to 13 inches. 

There is considerable over-mature timber in the Southwest 
and large timber sales are being conducted to remove the 
over-ripe trees and organize the forests on a definite system 
of regulating the annual cut according to the annual growth. 
A rotation of between 160 and 200 years is necessary to pro- 
duce yellow pine trees of good saw timber size. Measurements 
show that the average tree of 20 inches in diameter is about 
200 years of age. 

Protection. — The two important phases of forest protec- 
tion in this region are stream protection and forest fires. 
Stream protection has been briefly mentioned already and 
its importance to irrigation, municipal reservoirs, hydro- 
electric power plants, as well as to prevent erosion and floods, 
is at once obvious. Cloudbursts are common in this section, 
and streams which are dry the greater part of the year are 
often suddenly turned into raging torrents so that this matter 
is of especial moment. 

Forest fires are usually ground fires burning in the grass 
on the forest floor. They are rather easily controlled. In 
the fir and alpine types, however, considerable damage has 
been done to the forests by crown fires which in places have 
left thousands of acres a barren waste. In a recent year 


over 100,000 acres were burned over. Campers and light- 
ning are the most serious causes of fires. 

Comparatively little damage is suffered from insects and 

Utilization. — The chief forest product is yellow pine 
lumber. More than enough is furnished to supply the local 
demands so that it is shipped to the East and to Southern 
California. Yellow pine lumber is of excellent quality for 
all around purposes and is used for a great variety of uses. 
A great deal of box lumber is cut for the fruit trade. 

Altogether utilization is quite complete because the for- 
ests are somewhat scattered and broken and the small materials 
can be successfully utilized for fuel, fence posts, box boards, 
ranch timbers, mine timbers, etc. Most of the lumber is 
cut on large logging operations, as opposed to the situation 
in the northern Rockies. 

Experiments have shown that yellow pine may be an im- 
portant source of our turpentine, rosin and other naval stores 
in the future when our southern pineries are exhausted. 

Special Problems. — The greatest single problem in for- 
estry is to secure a satisfactory natural reproduction of the 
forests when cut over and to establish new forests on burns 
by planting and seeding. 

The maintenance of proper grazing conditions is also of 
the highest importance to insure the stable continuance of 
this large industry. 

Stream protection and the control of fires also receives 
proper attention by the officers of the Forest Service. 

Future of Forestry in the Region. — The Southwest will 
never be an important and great forest region in the sense 
of being a large producing center and source of the nation's 
timber supply. But locally forestry will always be important 
because of its close association with the grazing, mining and 


agriculture of this region. Several of the National Forests 
are already on a self-supporting basis and an excellent policy 
has been inaugurated by the Forest Service for the future 
care of the forestry problems incident to this region. 


Leiberg, J. B., Rixon and Dodwell. Forest Conditions in the San Francisco 
Mts. Reserve. U. S. Geological Survey. Prof. Paper 22. 

Moore, Barrington. Management of Western Yellow Pine in the South- 
west. Forestry Quarterly No. I. Vol. 10, 1912. 

Pearson, G. A. Reproduction of Western Yellow Pine in the Southwest. 
U. S. Forest Service, Circular 174. 

Plummer, F. G. and M. G. Gowsell. Forest Conditions in the Lincoln Forest 
Reserve, New Mexico. U. S. Geological Survey. Prof. Paper 33. 

Woolsey, T. S., Jr. Western Yellow Pine in Arizona and New Mexico. U. S. 
Forest Service, Bulletin 101. 

Woolsey, T. S., Jr. Preliminary Forest Management in the Southwest. 
Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters. Vol. IV, No. 1, 1909. 


Location and Boundary. — The Pacific coast forest is the 
most heavily wooded and produces trees of the largest size 
in the world. It lies chiefly west of the Cascade and Sierra 
Nevada Mountains in Washington, Oregon and California 
and also includes northern Idaho and western Montana. 

The heavy, dense stands are explained by the favorable 
climatic influences, such as an equably warm temperature, a 
heavy precipitation, uniformly distributed, and a long grow- 
ing season. The precipitation varies from only a few inches 
in southern California to nearly ioo inches on the Olympic 
peninsula of the north coast. Elevations run up to over 



14,000 feet at several peaks on the main ranges. The soils 
and slopes are generally very conducive to the best forest 

This region contains practically one half of the remaining 
stand of timber in this country. Approximately 1200 bil- 
lion board feet of timber are still to be cut in the Pacific 
coast forests. Oregon contains more of this timber than any 
other state. Washington is now the leading state in the 
country in amount of timber cut. Douglas fir, the principal 
tree, is only exceeded in yearly output by the southern yellow 

Although the largest portion of the timbered area is in the 
National Forests, much of the most valuable stands, including 
practically all the redwood and the best of the Douglas fir, 
are in the hands of the private interests and the railroads. 
The Southern Pacific Railroad Co. is the largest single owner 
of timber in the country. Its holdings were acquired through 
the early railroad land grant acts. 

All of the states included in this region have taken an 
active interest in forestry work, especially in the work of fire 
protection. Even private lumbermen have been very active 
in this work. Instruction in forestry is also offered in state 
educational institutions in every state. 

Lumbering is by far the most important industry although 
fruit ranching and the stock industry are of considerable im- 
portance as well. 

Forest Characteristics. — The forest may be generally 
characterized as follows: 

1. It is almost entirely coniferous. 

2. There is a great variety of species, the principal ones 
being Douglas fir, western yellow pine, redwood, sugar pine, 
western red cedar, western white pine, hemlock and Sitka 



3. The largest stands in the world are found here. The 
redwood occurs up to 35 feet in diameter and 350 feet in 

Fig. 63. — A Heavy Stand of Douglas Fir in Western Washington. 
Trees are frequently found up to 12 feet in diameter and 250 feet in height. 
It is adapted to management by the clear-cutting system. 

height; the Douglas fir is found up to 12 feet in diameter 
and 250 feet in height, and the sugar and yellow pines, 
cedars, spruces and others attain a large size. The average 


merchantable stand runs from 40,000 to 60,000 board feet per 
acre in Washington. Many stands are found that run sev- 
eral hundred thousand board feet per acre. 

4. Growth is unusually rapid and natural reproduction is 
readily secured. 

There are three distinct subdivisions of the Pacific coast 
forest, as follows: The northern Douglas fir region, the 
California sugar pine, yellow pine region and the northern 
Idaho western white pine region. They are sufficiently im- 
portant to justify a brief description of each, as follows: 

1. Northern Douglas fir region. This is the most impor- 
tant and heavily wooded subdivision. There are several 
distinct types prevailing in this section which includes for 
the most part western Washington and western Oregon. On 
the lower slopes and moist bottomlands is found the best 
timber, composed largely of Douglas fir. Sitka spruce and 
western red cedar (giant arborvitae) occur on the moist situ- 
ations and swamps, and hemlock and amabilis fir on the 
better drained soils in association with the Douglas fir. On 
the upper slopes are found the white, grand and noble firs 
and hemlock and in some localities, the western white pine, 
Lawson cypress (Port Orford cedar) Engelmann spruce and 
others. There are many variations of these types and sub- 
types in the different parts of this region. 

2. The California sugar pine-yellow pine region. This 
is found largely in California and southern Oregon. It 
reaches its best development on the western slopes of the 
Sierras. The climate is warmer, the growing season longer 
and there is much less rainfall than in western Washington. 

There are several types in this sub-region. Along the 
California coast above San Francisco Bay and along the 
western slopes of the coast range occur the heavy stands of 
redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) together with some sugar 




pine, incense cedar, Sitka spruce, Douglas fir and grand fir. 
Most of this is in the hands of the lumbermen. 

Throughout the remainder of the region is found a foothill 
type at elevations up to about 1500 feet. It is of little im- 
portance from a commercial viewpoint. The principal species 
are live oak, digger pine, scrubby yellow pine and much 
chaparral growing in open poor stands. 

Above this type occurs the yellow pine-sugar pine stands 
embracing the bulk of the commercial timber of California 
and southern Oregon, outside of the redwood. It runs up 
to about 9000 feet in elevation. The stands average from 
about 10,000 to 50,000 board feet to the acre. There are some 
incense cedar, Douglas fir and white fir intermixed and on 
the upper slopes and higher elevations there are also white 
fir, lodgepole pine and red fir. Within this type are 27 iso- 
lated bodies of redwood (Sequoia washingtonia). The alpine 
type is composed of short scrubby specimens of lodgepole, 
limber and white bark pines and hemlock up to timber line. 

3. The northern Idaho-western white pine region. This 
is found largely in northern Idaho, with extensions in north- 
western Montana and northeastern Washington. The prin- 
cipal tree is western white pine with a great variety of others, 
principal among which are western larch, western red cedar, 
Douglas fir, yellow pine, Engelmann spruce, etc. The trees do 
not grow to such a large size as on the Pacific slope, but the 
mild, moist climate causes a dense heavy growth and stands 
running up to 150,000 board feet per acre are found. The 
principal type is a mixed bottomland growth dominated by 
the white pine (Pinus monticola). Other common types are 
the larch type, the yellow pine type and the alpine type, con- 
taining alpine fir and limber pine. 

Silvicultural Treatment. — Very little silviculture has been 
practiced on the Pacific coast forest for the reason that com- 



paratively few sales have been made on the National Forests. 
This is so because the private operators are cutting so heavily 
that up to the present time there has been little demand for 
the government timber which lies usually in rather inaccessi- 
ble locations. 

Fig. 65. -Western White Pine - Western Larch Type in Northern 

Stands up to 150,000 board feet per acre are common on the moist bottom- 
ands and lower slopes. In the foreground is a squared log, hewed by hand 
tor export. 

However, the Douglas fir types are best handled on some 
clear-cutting system. Seed trees are left singly or in groups 
and reproduction is readily secured because of the favorable 
conditions for germination and the thrifty seeding capacity 
of the Douglas fir. The brush is burned broadcast or in piles. 
The immense size of the trees and the breakage in felling 


would not permit of the use of any other system even if it 
were better adapted to the habits of the tree. 

The western yellow pine and sugar pine are best handled 
under the selection system. The brush is generally piled and 
burned although lopping and scattering are also resorted to. 

The western white pine has been handled in the past by 
clear cutting and leaving seed trees in groups on high eleva- 
tions. Owing to its excellent reproductive ability, rapid 
growth and ability of its seed to germinate on a vegetative 
soil, it is also being handled under the selection system. 

This whole region is remarkable for the rapid growth and 
splendid reproductive capacity of its principal trees, thus 
rendering the practice of forestry a comparatively simple 
problem. The climatic and soil conditions are highly con- 
ducive to forest growth, especially in the northern part of 
this region. The whole question of forest management seems 
to depend upon an efficient system of fire protection. That 
is, if fires are excluded, the forests will reproduce them- 
selves to splendid advantage. In Washington and Oregon, 
planting will have to be resorted to less than in any other 

Douglas fir exhibits remarkably rapid growth in second 
growth stands. In unusual cases, trees have been found to 
be forty inches in diameter at forty years of age. This tree 
can be successfully managed on a rotation of from forty to 
seventy years. 

Yellow pine grows to a larger size in California than in any 
other region. It can be managed along with sugar pine on a 
rotation of from 60 to 100 years. Second growth redwoods 
also exhibit a fairly rapid growth. Redwood sprouts to some 
degree and there is a possibility of using the coppice system 
to some extent with this tree. Red cedar, hemlock and 
spruce, the other most important trees of this region, are com- 


paratively slow growers but they are all tolerant trees and can 
therefore lit in nicely in forest management, often as a second 
story to Douglas fir which is fairly light demanding in its 

Protection. — As mentioned before fire protection assumes 
the greatest importance in this region because, with it assured, 
forest management is a comparatively simple problem. Al- 
though characterized by a heavy rainfall, in unusually dry 
seasons, the fire risk is great, especially in Oregon, Washing- 
ton and northern Idaho, because of the heavy coniferous 
stands, dense underbrush and the leaf mould on the forest 
floor. Crown fires are therefore very disastrous when once 
started. In California the yellow pine stands are more open 
in their growth so that grass fires are the more common kind. 

The lumbermen of this region have formed several protec- 
tive associations and are very much alive to the installation 
of proper protective measures. They have cooperated with 
the Forest Service, and the region is now being handled most 
efficiently by means of fire patrol, lookout stations and towers, 
fire trails and telephones. All of the states have good fire 
laws on their statutes and altogether this region is better 
administered from the standpoint of fire protection than any 
other region. 

Trametes pini and other fungi have done a lot of damage to 
the Douglas fir, western yellow pine and other trees. The 
black rot attacks the hemlock very seriously. Owing to the 
moist conditions here, the work of the fungi is more serious 
than in any other region. 

Insects have done considerable damage in California but 
the Forest Service is combatting them with success. 

The regulation of the stream flow for irrigation, reservoir 
and electric power plants is of prime importance here, owing 
to the population and the number of relatively large towns 


and cities. Irrigation for the fruit districts of California, 
Washington and Oregon is of especial interest. 

Utilization. — This region is really the great " storehouse " 
of the nation's timber supply, owing to the fact that nearly 
one half of the remaining timber supply of the country is to 
be found here. Up to the present time very rough and 
extensive utilization has characterized the lumber operations 
in this section. Lumber has been cheap and plentiful, with 
the natural result that most trees are cut down to a diameter 
of only 12 inches or more in the tops and only the best 
material is utilized. 

Some of the largest logging operations in the country are 
located here. Steam logging is typical throughout the forests 
because horses are not able to move the enormously large 
logs. The logging operations are characterized by waste- 
fulness in high stumps, large and broken tops and the damage 
to the young growth. 

The principal lumber trees at present are Douglas fir, 
western yellow pine, redwood, sugar pine, spruce, red cedar, 
hemlock, incense cedar, yellow cypress, fir and white pine. 
Owing to their relative abundance, lumber of all species 
is cheap and therefore close utilization is impossible. How- 
ever, several paper plants, wood distillation plants and box- 
board factories are being installed in connection with the larger 
plants to utilize the waste. The chief forms of waste are the 
large slabs, sawdust and the tops and broken material in the 

Douglas fir is largely cut into lumber, construction timbers 
and railroad ties. Its wood is strong, durable and of high 
technical value. Cedar is the great shingle wood, producing 
about 75 per cent of all the shingles used in this country. 
Western yellow pine and sugar pine produce high-grade lum- 
ber. Redwood lumber is the most fire resistant of any wood 


and therefore furnishes excellent house construction lumber. 
It is also used for grape stakes, boxboards and railroad ties. 
To summarize, the situation in utilization is characterized 
as follows: 

(1) This is a great lumber production center. 

(2) It produces a large number of high-grade timber trees. 

(3) It produces the largest size construction timbers avail- 
able anywhere. 

(4) Utilization is not complete because of the great supply 
of lumber and therefore its cheapness. 

Special Problems. — The special problems are as follows: 

(1) The establishment of an efficient fire protection. The 
high value of the large timbered areas renders the expenditure 
of a few cents per acre every year a cheap form of fire insur- 

(2) The closer utilization of forest products. This will be 
solved with the increased value of lumber and the introduc- 
tion of means of more completely utilizing the wood for paper, 
chemical distillates and products, boxboards, fruit packages, 
veneers, cooperage and the manufacture of small wooden 

Future of Forestry in Region. — The future of this region is 
unusually good because of its abundant timber supply, rapid 
growth of its principal species, rapidly growing population, 
large percentage of true forest soils and a general public 
interest in the welfare of lumbering, the chief industry which 
depends upon the permanence of the forest for its existence. 
The manifestation of this interest through the passing of good 
forest and fire laws, the establishment of forestry courses in 
the state educational institutions and the formation of the fire 
protective associations, together with the work of the Forest 
Service, all assure a most hopeful future for the most impor- 
tant single forest region in the country. 



Berry, Swift. Notes on Management of Redwood Lands. Vol. VI, No. i. 

Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters, 191 1. 
Burns, Findley. The Olympic National Forest; Its Resources and Their 

Management. U. S. Forest Service, Bulletin 89. 
Burns, Findley. The Crater National Forest; Its Resources and Their 

Conservation. U. S. Forest Service, Bulletin 100. 
Cooper, A. W. Sugar Pine and Western Yellow Pine in California. U. S. 

Forest Service, Bulletin 69. 
Frothingham, E. H. Douglas Fir; A Study of the Pacific Coast and Rocky 

Mt. Forms. U. S. Forest Service, Circular 150. 
Greeley, W. B. A Rough System of Management for Reserve Lands in the 

Western Sierras. Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters. Vol. II, No. 1, 1907. 
Kirkland, B. P. Working Plans for National Forests in the Pacific North- 
west. Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters. Vol. VI, No. 1, 191 1. 
Leiberg, J. B. Forest Conditions in the Northern Sierra Nevada, California. 

U. S. Geological Survey. Prof. Paper 8. 
Mason, D. T. Management of Western White Pine. Proc. Soc. Amer. 

Foresters. Vol. IX, No. 1, 1914. 
Munger, T. T. The Growth and Management of Douglas Fir in the Pacific 

Northwest. U. S. Forest Service, Circular 175. 
Munger, T. T. Natural vs. Artificial Regeneration in the Douglas Fir Region 

of the Pacific Coast. Proc. Soc. Amer. Foresters. Vol. VII, No. 2, 191 2. 
Sudworth, G. B. Forest Trees of the Pacific Slope. U. S. Forest Service, 

Unnumbered Bulletin. 


Original and Present Forest Areas in the United States. 

Original forest. 

Present forest. 






Per cent 

of original 


Per cent 

of original 



ft. B. M. 


ft. B. M. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 












9 1 




Rocky Mt 


Pacific Slope 







Forest Service Circular 166. The Timber Supply of the United States by R. S. Kellogg. 




Uses of The Principal American Species. 

Showing also the common and scientific names, distribution and 
maximum sizes. 

Common and scien- 
tific names. 

eter and 


Qualities and uses. 


White or Weymouth 
pine {Pinns strobus). 

Longleaf, Georgia or 
hard pine (Pinus pa- 

Shortl eaf or yellow pine 
{Pinus echinala 2 .) 

Cuban or slash pine 
(Pinus heterophylla). 

Loblolly or old field 
pine (Pinus taeda). 

Western yellow or bull 
pine (Pinus ponderosa) 

Red or Norway pine 
(Pinus resinosa). 

Sugar pine (Pinus lam- 

ber liana). 
Western white pine 

(Pinus tnonticola). 

Lodgepole pine (Pinus 
murrayana) . 

Red spruce (Picea ru- 

Sitka spruce (Picea sil 

Engelmann spruce 

(Picea engelmanni) . 

Douglas fir (Pseudo- 
tsuga taxifolia). 

Hemlock (Tsuga cana- 











Maine to Minnesota and 
along Appalachians to 

Virginia to Texas along 
coastal plain. 

New York south to 
Texas. Also in Mis- 
sissippi Valley up to 
Missouri and Illinois. 

South Carolina to Loui- 
siana along the coast. 

From New Jersey along 
coast to Texas and 

Found in every western 
mountain state. 

Maine to Minnesota and 
south to Pennsylva- 

South Oregon and along 
Sierras in California. 

British Columbia to 
California. Chiefly in 
North Idaho and 
western Montana. 

Alaska to California and 

From valley of St. Law- 
rence south along Ap- 
palachians to North 

Alaska to North Cali- 
fornia on Pacific coast. 

Through Rocky Moun- 
tains from Arizona to 
British Columbia. 

Found in all western 
mountain states. 

Maine to Minnesota and 
south on Appalachi- 
ans to Georgia. 

Light, soft and easily worked. 
Most useful American wood. 
Not specialized in its uses. 

Hard, heavy, strong, durable, 
and resinous. Used in con- 
struction, ties, flooring, and 
general lumber. Source of 
our naval stores. 

Fairly hard, heavy, and strong. 
Used with longleaf pine for 
the same purposes. 

Same qualities and uses as long- 
leaf pine. 

Fairly heavy, coarse-grained, 
fairly durable. Used for gen- 
eral lumber and box boards. 

Fairly heavy, close-grained, 
easily worked. Used for lum- 
ber, construction timbers, 
ties and mine timbers. 

Medium between white and yel- 
low pines in qualities. Used 
for lumber. 

Same qualities and uses as 
white pine. 

Same qualities and uses as 
white pine. 

Light, soft, weak, brittle, not 
durable wood. Used locally 
for ties, mine timbers, and 
general lumber. 

Light, soft, close-grained, not 
durable. Used mostly for 
paper pulp, sounding boards 
and dimension timbers. 

Light, soft, close and straight 
grained. Used for lumber, 
cooperage, boats, pulp, and 

Light, soft wood. Used for 
general lumber for local pur- 

Heavy, hard, durable, strong 
wood. Used for lumber, con- 
struction, ties, shipbuilding. 

Soft, weak, brittle wood. Used 
for coarse lumber and small 
dimension timbers. 

Measurements are given in feet unless otherwise noted. 


Uses of the Pri.vcpal American Species. (Continued) 

Common and scien- 
tific names. 

eter and 


Qualities and uses. 


Western hemlock 
{Isuga heterophylla). 

Tamarack or larch 
(Larix laricina). 

Western larch (Larix 

Balsam fir (Abies bal- 

Amabilis or white fir 
(Abies amabilis). 

Noble fir or larch 
(Abies nobilis). 

Red fir (Abies magni- 

Bald cypress (Taxodium 

8X2S0 Alaska to California and 

20 in Newfoundland to Min- 
nesota, south to Penn- 

SX250 British Columbia 1 
Oregon and Montana. 

30 in Newfoundland to Min- 
nesota, south to Vir- 

6X250 On Pacific Coast. Ore- 
gon to British Colum- 

> On Pacific Coast, Wash- 
ington to California. 

10X200 Western slopes of the 

12X150 J Delaware to Texas along 
coast and up to Illi- 
nois and Indiana. 

Big tree or redwood 35X320 
[Sequoia Washington- I 

Redwood (Sequoia sem- 

Western red cedar or 
giant arbor-vita? 
(Thuja plicata). 


Arbor-vitae or white 
cedar. (Thuja out- X 60 ft. 
denlahs) . 

Incense cedar or white 8X200 
cedar (Libocedrus 


Port Orford cedar or 12X200 
Lawson's cypress 
(Lhamaecy Paris law- 

Red cedar (Juniperus 4X100 

Western slopes of the 
Sierras in California. 

Northern California 
coast region. 

Alaska to California and 

Nova Scotia to Minne- 
sota, south to North 

Southern Oregon and 

Along Pacific Coast, 
Oregon and California. 

Found everywhere east 
of the Rocky Moun- 

Light hard, tough, not durable 
wood Used for rough lum- 
ber and construction timbers. 

Hard, heavy, strong and dur- 
able. Used for ties, posts, 
poles, ships, and rough lum- 

Very hard, heavy, strong, dur- 
able and close-grained. Used 
tor ties, construction timbers, 
and lumber. 

Light, soft, weak, perishable 
coarse-grained. Used for 

pulp, boxes and generally sold 
as spruce. 

Li £y ht \ rather soft and weak. 
Used for rough lumber, pack- 
ing cases, etc. 

Li f T ht \ f hai "d, strong wood. 
Used for lumber, construc- 
tion and cases. 

Light , soft , rather weak. Used 
lor rough lumber, construc- 
tion, and cases. 

Light, soft, durable, very work- 
able. Used for ties, posts, 
cooperage, doors, shingles and 
inside trim. 

Light, soft, durable, weak 
wood. Used for shingles, 
grape stakes, ties, and general 

Same qualities and uses as the 

Light soft, very durable and 
brittle. Used for shingles, 
posts, poles, cooperage and 

Light, soft, brittle, very dur- 
able. Used for shingles, 
poles, posts. 

Soft, light, weak, brittle, but 
very durable. Used for shin- 
gles, and general lumber. 

Lig u, t ' h r rd ' stron g. and dur- 
able. Used for flooring, ties 
ships, matches and lumber 

Light soft, and close-grained. 
Used for pencils, cabinets, 
posts and chests. 



Uses of the Principal American Species. {Continued.) 

Common and scien- 
tific names. 

eter and 


Qualities and uses. 


White oak 



Maine to Minnesota, 

Hard, strong, durable, and sea- 


south to the Gulf. 

sons well. Used for ships, 
furniture, ties, cooperage, 
veneers, flooring and cabinet 

Other oaks classed as white oaks and used for the same purposes are post, bur, rock, swamp 
white, cow and live oaks. All of these are found in the East. 

Red oak {Quercus 


Nova Scotia to Minne- 
sota and south to 
Georgia and Kansas. 

Similar to white oak, but not as 
hard, strong or as durable. 
Used for furniture, ties, inte- 
rior finish and general hard- 
wood lumber. 

Other oaks classed as red oaks and used for the same purposes are scarlet, pin, black, 
Spanish and water oaks. All are found in the East. 

Sugar or hard maple 
{Acer saccharutn). 

White ash (Fraxinus 

Shagbark hickory (Hi- 
coria ovata). 

Found everywhere east 
of the prairies. 

Newfoundland to Min- 
nesota, south to Gulf. 

Maine to Minnesota, 
south to Gulf. 

Hard, heavy, strong, tough, 
but .not durable. Used for 
furniture, cabinets, tools, im- 
plements, instruments and 

Heavy, hard, tough, seasons 
well. Used for all kinds of 
implements, furniture, ball- 
bats, handles, vehicles, etc. 

Very heavy, hard, tough, and 
strong. Used for axe and tool 
handles, implements, vehi- 
cles, etc. 

Three other hickories {Hicoria alba, glabra, and minima) are also commonly used as hickory 
and, in general, exhibit the same qualities as the shagbark. All grow in the East. 

Yellow or red birch 
(Betula lutea). 

Yellow poplar or tulip 
(Liriodendron tulipi- 

Red gum or sweet gum 
(Liquidambar styraci- 




Newfoundland to Min- 
nesota, south to North 

Vermont to Florida, west 
to Michigan and Ar- 

Connecticut to Florida, 
west to Missouri and 

Heavy, very strong and hard 
and close-grained. Used for 
furniture, hubs, handles, 
flooring, veneers and interior 

Light, soft, even texture, sea- 
sons well, not very durable. 
Used for interior finish, 
boats, woodenware and gen- 
eral hardwood lumber. 

Fairly heavy, satiny, difficult 
to season, cross-grained. 
Used mostly for veneers, 
cooperage, furniture, interior 

Uses of the Principal American Species, 



Common and scien- 
tific names. 

eter and 


Qualities and uses. 


Black walnut (Juglans 

Butternut or white 
walnut (Juglans cin- 

Chestnut (Castanea den- 




Beech (Fagus atropu- 4X120 

White elm (Ulmus 

Basswood or linden 
(Tilia atnericana). 

Black or yellow locust. 3^X00 

New Brunswick to Min- 
nesota and south to 
the Gulf. 



Sycamore or plane 
{Plaianus occidentalis) . 

Black or red cherry 5X110 
(Prunus serotina). 


Cottonwood (Populus 


Swamp cottonwood or 3X130 
cottonwood [Populus 

New Brunswick to Min- 
nesota and south to 
Georgia and Arkansas 

Maine to Michigan, 
south to Mississippi 
and Georgia. 

Nova Scotia to Wiscon- 
sin south to Florida 
and Texas. 

Newfoundland to Rocky 
Mountains, south to 
the Gulf. 

New Brunswick to Min- 
nesota, south to Texas 
and Georgia. 

Pennsylvania to Geor- 
gia, west to Minne- 
sota and Oklahoma. 

Found in every state 
east of the central 

Same distribution as 

Found in every state 
east of the Rocky 

Connecticut to Georgia, 
west to Arkansas.' 
Found mostly in 

Light, soft, even-grained, sea- 
sons well, yields a beautiful 
polish. Used for furniture, 
veneers, cabinets, gun-stocks, 
and fancy hardwood articles. 

Light, soft, coarse-grained. 
Used as substitute for black 

Light, soft, coarse-grained, dur- 
able. Used for ties, poles, 
posts, mine props and gen- 
eral lumber. Also for tannin. 

Very hard, heavy, strong and 
tough, not durable, difficult 
to season. Used for chairs, 
handles, woodenware, coop- 
erage, flooring, shoe lasts, etc. 

Very heavy, hard, tough, cross- 
grained. Used for imple- 
ments, hubs, wagon parts, 
cooperage, handles, etc. 

Light, soft, seasons excellently, 
even-grained, tough. Used 
for woodenware, excelsior, 
cooperage, veneer backing, 
trunks and general lumber. 

Very hard, heavy, strong and 
durable. Used for ships, in- 
sulator pins, wagon stock, 
posts and certain specialized 

Heavy, hard, not durable 
cross-grained. Used for fur- 
niture, butcher's blocks and 
small wooden articles and 

Strong, hard, close-grained, sat- 
iny, very durable. Excellent 
cabinet wood. Used for fine 
furniture, interior finish, in- 
struments, cases, clocks, etc. 

Soft, light, weak, cross-grained. 
Used for crates and boxes, 
cooperage and cheap lumber. 

Soft, light, even, straight- 
grained. Seasons well. Used 
for general lumber purposes, 
boxes and crating, veneers 
and cooperage. 




Table I. — Scribner Log Rule. 
(Decimal " C") 
Showing contents in board feet for the various log lengths. 








Bd. ft. 

Bd. ft. 

Bd. ft. 

Bd. ft. 

Bd. ft. 





















































































































































































From Forest Service Bulletin 36, Woodsman's Handbook. 

The total scale is obtained by multiplying che figures in this table by 10. 
Thus, the contents of a 6-inch 8-foot log are given as 0.5, so the total scale is 
5 board feet. A 30-inch 16-foot log is given as 66, or a total scale of 660 board 



Table II. — Doyle Log Rule. 

Showing contents in board feet for the various log lengths. 

Length in feet. 

in inches. 






Contents in board feet. 


























































































































































































Table III. — The Champlain Log Rule. 

Showing contents in board feet for the various log lengths. 







Contents in board feet. 

































































































































































































From Bulletin 102, Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station. By Professor A. L. Daniels. 


Sample Tally Sheet Used in Timber Estimating. 











. Ash. 





























3 6 ° 










Tot. hgt. ft., 
CI. Igth. ft., 
M. log. ft., 
Crn. ft., 
Form factor, 
V. cu. ft., 
V. wd. cu. ft., 
M. v. cu. ft., 
M. v. stan., 
M. v. cds., 
M. v. bd. ft., 
Per cent mer., 
Per cent bark, 
Per cent sap, 
































































































+J ci ro "+ *0O t^-00 OvO 

C/2 h 




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Table IV. -Volume Table, in Board Feet, for White Pine in 
Scaled from rules made by mill tallies. Volume 
. j-foot stump. 

to 4-inch top and 









Total height (feet). 


Bd. ft. 



Bd. ft. Bd. ft. 








Bd. ft. 





From " ThelVhlte^PlnThrM^a^Is^^ 

Bd. ft, 







215 I 









Bd. ft. 





Bd. ft. 

Bd. ft. 








By permission of the MassTStatTForeiti? 

(years') . 

JT^ELV^YmLDjTABLE for White Pine. 

Quality I. 













Quality II. 




49 -o 


2 740 




From " The ^hit^^J^n^^^^-BT^^^^U 

Quality III. 










the Mass. State Forester.' 




































1— 1 










8 a 











to H 








I* 1 O 













OO • 9$ 



00 • 



O O 




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6 H 






cs t^» 








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. 10 





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O *o 







. On 








t^ NO 
















O O 




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10 to 
























9$ 00 '8$ 

00 • 






1— 1 

ffl a3 



O cs 
O On 





O co 






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CS Tt 










00 • 





+J O 

O O 

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O O 



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10 ■3- 








cs "^ 















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9$ °° " 8$ 

OO ■ 








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d 1 


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The Status of State, Municipal, and Private Forestry. 

States having forest 

State forestry. 

Last annual appropriation for forestry a. 




North Carolina 




Other States c 


tions, in- 







d 50,000 




d 11,500 

d 49,500 





Fire pro- 








and re- 
tion work. 




$537,150 $70,750 

and main- 
of State 





g 60,000 

States where 
the tax on for- 
est land may 
be levied 
chiefly on 
yield, or in- 















State forest nurseries. 




Planting stock per 1000 trees in 






9933 1081 4897 

uted to 

price to 



forest ex- 



Municipal and private forestry. 



Approximate area of 

private forest lands 

under some form of 


) <D <ut3 o O O 3 1J 


o ,5 2 8 SHI'S 



.a mm <o > CTp ^^sg^ 

2 3a*S88&*?.Rfl 

mate area 
of private 



with forest 

trees i. 



j 3,000 

j 2,000 

j 210,000 

j 197,450 


j 1,200 


j 24,000 


j 250,000 


j 1,800 

J 500 

j 6,500 

i 1,000 

i 56,000 

j 3,000 






j 1,600 


land own- 
ers' fire 

tions for 
the ad- 
of forestry 















N. H. 



N. C. 

N. D. 





S. Dak. 




W. Va. 


Other States. 


« Exclusive of appropriations for educational institutions. 

b Fire protective system only. 

c Authorized by law in Delaware and Louisiana, but not yet organized. 

d Care of State forests also. h Established in 1913- 

e Special appropriation for fire lanes and trails in the San Bernardino Mountains. t From report of National Conservation Commission, 1909. 

/ Tax on timberlands; available until expended. j As reported by State forest departments. 

g In addition the yearly revenue from the State forests is about $75,000, from which the expendi- * Georgia, Louisiana, Nebraska, Northeastern States, Northwestern States, and boutn- 
ture for fire protection is approximately $35,000. eastern States. 

From the Report on State Forest Organization by J. Girvin Peters. Published by Fifth National Conservation Congress, Washington, D. C. 






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Farm plantations. 

{Hardwood, seedling. 
Hardwood, sprout. 
Mixed hardwood. 
Farm plantations. 
Close to open stands 
Farm plantations. 
( Mixed hardwood, see 
( Mixed hardwood, spr 
Mixed hardwood, see 
Mixed hardwood, spr 
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( Mixed hardwood, spr 
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arch, European.* 
ocust, black, 
aple, silver.* 

ak, black, 
ak, chestnut, 
ak, red. 

ak, white, 
alnut, black.* 

oplar, yellow. 




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*? •*. > 


Largely taken from U. S. Forest Service Bulletin No. 61. 

Accretion. Increase in diameter or height; distinguished from increment, in- 
crease in volume. 
Accretion borer. An instrument for determining the growth in diameter of 

standing trees. It consists of a hollow auger, which, when bored into a 

tree, extracts a section showing the annual rings. 
Accretion thinning. A thinning made specifically to increase the rate of 

growth in diameter of the trees which are left standing. 
Advance growth. Young trees which have sprung up in accidental openings 

in the forest or under the forest cover before reproduction cuttings are begun. 
After growth. Young trees which have sprung up as the result of reproduction 

Angle mirror. An instrument for turning of angles in subdividing land. 
Annual ring. The layer of wood produced by the diameter growth of a tree 

in one year, as seen on a cross section. 
Arboriculture. The growing of trees for any purpose. 
Aspect. The direction toward which a slope faces. The eight main points of 

the compass, N., N.E., E., S.E., S., S.W., W., N.W., are distinguished in forest 

Assimilation. In plants, the production of organic matter from inorganic 

Back fire. A fire started purposely some distance ahead of a fire which is to 

be fought. The back fire is intended to burn only against the wind, so that 

when the two fires meet, both must go out for lack of fuel. 
Ball planting. A method of transplanting young trees with balls or lumps of 

earth around the roots. 
Bam boss. One who has charge of the stables in a logging camp. 
Basal area. The area of a cross section of a tree, or the sum of such areas. 
Bast. The woody fibrous tissue of the inner bark. 
Bed a tree, to. To level up the path in which a tree is to fall, so that it may 

not be shattered. 
Binding chain. A chain used to bind together a load of logs. 
Birl, v. To cause a floating log to rotate rapidly by treading upon it. 



Blank. An opening in the forest where, from any cause, very few or no trees 
are growing. 

*Ed- t .!:.r k ' by cuttins int0 trecs ' thc course of a boundar ^ ™ d > 

Board foot. The contents of a board one foot square and one inch thick 
I he common unit of measure for logs and lumber in the United States 

Board measure. The standard of lumber measurement, the nnit of which is 
tne board loot. 

Board rule. A graduated stick for determining the contents of boards. The 
STstSc in b ° ardS ° f SiVe " WWthS and lengths is sho ™ "P°n 

B °t Tar'oftncir CUt *" *" ""*- ° f * — * — ** 

Bom "' L ° g u s or Umbers faste '«l together end to end and used to hold float- 
m e logs The term sometimes includes the logs inclosed, as a boom of logs 

Boom company A corporation engaged in handling floating logs, and owning 
booms and booming privileges. owning 

*** A '° gg, ' ng Skd S ° const ™ted ^at, when the pole team holds 

KitST on the side of each runner of the for Jd skd is «- d 

*'«»***• At or having a height of A \ feet above the ground. 

Z*7,l ' reeS n APPli ? t0 treCS Wh ° Se kaves have a broa d flat surface 
unhke the needle- or awl-shaped leaves of the conifers. 

Buck, t. To saw felled trees into logs. 

Bull chain, i. A very heavy chain, to which a nnmber of short chains with 

£ from I ^fl ^ T «* ^ " e ■****• » fa used » *« 
logs trom the mill pond up the gangway. 

2. See Jack chain. 

"ta^Tl A ] T d °u nkey 6ngine WhicH ' hy drUm and Cable > ^ags logs 
from the place where they are yarded to a landing. 

yj :;;;;iT;; s ; A sma11 truck with ^ io - *** - d a io ng PO i e , use d in S ki d . 

*Wi fc gJ> fo. To collect logs in one place for loading 
Bunk n. i. The heavy timber upon which the logs rest on a logging sled 
2. The cross beam on a log car or truck, on which the logs rest 

3- A log car or truck. 

4- A bed in a logging camp. 

ftTrft T T er " hichfire f haS run to «* -ticeable injury of the forest. 
Bull of, to. z. To cut a p,ece from the end of a log on account of a defect 

2- To square the end of a log. 
Caliper. An instrument for measuring the diameter of trees or logs usually 
cons.stmg of a graduated beam to which is attached one fixed and one sliding 


Cambium. In trees and shrubs, the layer of new growing tissue between the 
bark and wood. 

Cant hook. A tool like a peavey, but having a toe ring and lip at the end 
instead of a pike. 

Catamaran, n. A small raft carrying a windlass and grapple, used to recover 
sunken logs. 

Catface, n. A partly healed over fire scar on the stem of a tree. 

Clean cutting, i. The cutting of the entire stand. 

2. An area upon which the entire stand has been cut. 

Clean cutting method. A method of conservative lumbering in which the en- 
tire stand is cut at one time and reproduction is secured by sowing or 

Cleaning. A thinning made in a stand which has not reached the small-pole 
stage. Its main object is to remove trees of undesirable form and species. 

Clear length. In silvics, that portion of the stem of a tree free from branches. 
In forest measurements the meaning of the term varies with the species 
measured and the purpose of the measurements. For example, clear length 
is in some cases used to designate that portion of the stem entirely free from 
branches, in others that portion free from dead branches, or from growing 
branches of a given size. 

Coal off, to. To cut a forest clean for charcoal wood. 

Compartment. The unit of area treated in the working plan. The size and 

the shape of compartments are determined mainly by topographic features. 

If a compartment contains a stand varying greatly in composition, age, 

or needs, it may be divided into two or more subcompartments, which may 

be either temporary or permanent. 

Compartment line. The boundary of a compartment. It may be marked by 
a road, a ride, or a natural feature, such as a stream or the crest of a ridge. 
In Europe, when other demarcation is wanting, clean cuttings upon narrow 
strips are made to mark the boundaries of a compartment. These are known 
as rides. A ride which separates two cutting series, and thus runs parallel 
to the prevailing wind direction, is called a major ride, while one which com- 
pletes the demarcation of a compartment is known as a minor ride. 

Composite forest. A forest in which both seedlings and sprouts occur in con- 
siderable number. It may be either pure or mixed. 

Conifer. A member of the Pine Family or Coniferae. 

Coniferous. Cone-bearing. 

Conk, n. i. The decay in the wood of trees caused by a fungus. 
2. The visible fruiting organ of a tree fungus. 

Conservative lumbering. Practical forestry; any method of lumbering which 
perpetuates the forest by use. 

Conversion. A change from one system or method of forest management to 
another, as from the sprout system to the seed system. 


Conversion period. The period during which the change from one system or 
method of forest management to another is effected. 

Cookcc, n. Assistant cook and dishwasher in a logging camp. 

Coppice. A forest grown from sprouts. 

Crown. In silvics, the upper part of a tree, including the living branches with 
their foliage. In forest measurements the use of the term varies with the 
kind of tree and the purpose of the measurements. For example, crown 
may be used to designate the whole leaf and branch system, or that portion 
of it above a dead or a growing branch of a given size. In tree description 
the crown is described as long or short, broad or narrow, compact or ragged, 
conical or flat. 

Crown density. The density of the crowns of the trees in a forest; it is usually 
measured by the extent to which the ground is shaded. The degrees of 
crown density in a forest and expressed by the following terms: closed, — 
when the crowns form an uninterrupted cover and permit little or no sun- 
light to reach the ground; dense, — when three-fourths or more of the 
ground is shaded by the crowns; thin, — when three-fourths to one-half 
of the ground is shaded by the crowns; open, — when less than one-half 
the ground is shaded by the crowns. Park forest is forest in which shade 
occurs only in isolated patches, under single trees or small groups. 

Cruise, v. To estimate the amount and value of standing timber. 

Cruiser, n. One who cruises. 

Cull. 1. v. To take out of a forest by selection a portion of the trees. 
2. n. A low-grade log or piece of lumber. 

Culled forest. Forest from which cuttings by selection have removed a portion 
of the trees. 

Current annual increment. The volume of wood produced in a given year by 
the growth of a tree or stand. 

Cut, n. A season's output of logs. 

Cut over, to. To cut most or all of the merchantable timber in a forest. 

Cut-over forest. Forest in which most or all of the merchantable timber has 
been cut. 

Cutting. A piece of a leaf, branch, stem, or root which when inserted in moist 
material is capable of sending out roots and forming a new plant; a slip. 

Cutting area. The area over which cuttings are to be or have been made. 

Cutting height. The height above the ground at which a tree is to be cut. 

Cutting series. A block or a part of a block containing even-aged stands whose 
ages differ uniformly within given limits and which are to be cut in turn, 
the cuttings usually following a given direction. A perfect cutting series 
seldom exists, except under the clean-cutting method followed by artificial 
reproduction, or under the sprout method. 

Deaden. To kill a standing tree by girdling it. 

Deadening. An area upon which the trees have been deadened. 


Deadhead, n. A sunken or partly sunken log. 

Delinquent tax lands. Lands on which taxes have not been paid. They are 
offered for sale at stated times after public notice, and tracts which find no 
buyers revert to the state. 

Diameter, breasthigh. The diameter of a tree at 4! feet above the ground. 

Diameter class. All trees in a stand whose diameters are within prescribed 

Diameter growth. The increase in diameter of a tree. 

Diameter limit. The diameter, usually breasthigh, which defines the size to 
which trees are to be measured or used for any given purpose. 

Diameter tape. A tape for ascertaining the diameter of trees, so graduated that 
the diameter corresponding to the girth of a tree is read directly from the tape. 

Dibble. A tool for making holes for planting seeds or young trees. 

Dibble in, to. To plant seeds or young trees in holes made with a dibble. 

Dioecious. Staminate and pistillate flowers borne on different plants. 

Dominant. Having the crown free to light on all sides because of greater 

Doty, a. Decayed. 

Dray, n. A single sled used in dragging logs. One end of the log rests upon 
the sled. 

Drive, n. 1. A body of logs or timber in process of being floated from the 
forest to the mill or shipping point. 

2. That part of logging which consists in floating logs or timbers. 

Dry roll, to. In sacking the rear, to roll stranded logs into the bed of the 
stream from which the water has been cut off preparatory to flooding. 

Dry lopped. Having a dead or a partially defoliated crown, or discolored 
foliage, as the result of injury or disease. 

Duffle, n. The personal belongings of a woodsman or lumberjack which he 
takes into the woods. 

Experiment area. A forest area of known size upon which successive measure- 
ments or other detailed studies are made for the determination of the growth 
and behavior of the stand, or upon which experiments are conducted to 
ascertain the effect of methods of treatment upon the forest. 

Fail spot. A place where natural or artificial reproduction has failed. 

Faller, n. One who fells trees. 

Falling ax. An ax with a long helve and a long, narrow bit, designed es- 
pecially for felling trees. 

False ring. The layer of wood, less than a full season's growth, and seldom 
extending around the stem, which is formed whenever the diameter growth 
of a tree is interrupted and begins again during the same growing season. 

Filer, n. One who files the crosscut saws in the woods. 

Final yield. All material derived from reproduction cuttings or clean cuttings. 
It is usually the chief crop, and marks the end of the rotation. 


Firebreak. An opening, ploughed strip of land or anything which prevents 
the spread of fires in the forests or elsewhere. 

Fire line. A strip kept clear of inflammable material as a protection against 
the spread of forest fire. 

First growth. 1. Natural forest in which no cuttings have been made. 

2. Trees grown before lumbering or severe fire entered the forest; be- 
longing to the original stand. 

Fitter, n. One who notches the tree for felling and after it is felled marks 
the log lengths into which it is to be cut. 

Flume, n. An inclined trough in which water runs, used in transporting logs 
or timbers. 

Forest, n. An area whose principal crop is trees. A forest includes both the 
forest cover and the soil beneath it. A forest judged by the character of 
the stand may be timberland or woodland. These constitute the two great 
classes of forest, between which it is possible to draw a practical but not an 
absolute distinction. Timberland may be broadly defined as that class of 
forest which contains in commercial quantities trees of sufficient size and of 
the required kind to furnish saw logs, pulp wood, ties, poles or wood for 
similar uses. 

Woodland may be broadly defined as forest which contains trees fit for 
firewood or fencing but none or very few trees which are suitable for the 
uses enumerated above. 

A timber tract is a body of timberland, usually of large area. 
A woodlot is a forest of small area in which the wood is used mainly for 
fuel, fencing, and other farm purposes. 

Forest capital. The capital which a forest represents. It consists of the 
forest land, or fixed capital, and the stand. 

Forest cover. All trees and other plants in a forest. 

Forester. One who practices forestry as a profession. 

Forest expectation value. The present net value of all future returns expected 
from the forest capital. It is determined by discounting to the present time, 
at compound interest, all returns and expenses anticipated. 

Forest extension. The establishment of forest upon areas where it is at present 
absent or insufficient. 

Forest fire. A fire in timberland or woodland. A forest fire may be a ground 
fire, a surface fire, a stand fire or a crown fire. A ground fire is one which 
burns in the forest floor and does not appear above the ground. When a 
fire runs over the surface or burns the undergrowth, it is a surface fire. When 
a surface fire spreads from the undergrowth to the stand, igniting the trees, 
it becomes a stand fire. Under certain conditions the crowns of the trees 
may be ignited, causing a crown fire. 

Forest floor. The deposit of vegetable matter on the ground in a forest. Litter 
includes the upper, but slightly decomposed portion of the forest floor; 
humus, the portion in which decomposition is well advanced. 


Forest grown. Grown in the forest from self-sown seed. 

Forest influences. All effects resulting from the presence of the forest, upon 
health, climate (including wind, rainfall, temperature, etc.), stream flow, 
and economic conditions. 

Forest management. The practical application of the principles of forestry to a 
forest area. Forest management includes: forest mensuration, or the de- 
termination of the present and future product of the forest; forest organi- 
zation, or the preparation of working plans and planting plans, detailed and 
comprehensive schemes for the establishment and best use of the forest; and 
forest finance, or the determination of the money returns from forestry. 

Three great systems of forest management are distinguished: the seed 
system, the sprout system, and the composite system. The seed system in- 
cludes the stand method, group method, strip method, patch method, strip 
stand method, group seed method, scattered seed method, single tree method, 
reserve seed method, clean cutting method. The sprout system includes 
the sprout method. The composite system includes the reserve sprout 

Forest nursery. An area upon which young trees are grown for forest planting. 

Forest plantation. Forest growth, established by setting out young trees or by 
sowing seed, which has not reached the small-pole stage. A forest plantation, 
made by setting out young trees, which has passed the small-pole stage, is 
called a planted forest. A sown forest plantation which has passed the 
small-pole stage is called a sown forest. 

Forest policy. The principles which govern the administration of the forest 
for its best permanent use. 

Forest products. All usable material yielded by the forest. The following 
classes are distinguished: major products include all wood harvested for 
any purpose; minor products include all forest products except wood. 

Forest protection. The safe guarding of the forest against any damage not 
caused by its own growth. 

Forestral. Pertaining to forestry. 

Forest replacement. The restoration of forest growth on denuded areas. 

Forestry. The science and art of making the best permanent use of the forest. 
The main branches of forestry are forest policy, silviculture, forest man- 
agement, forest protection and forest utilization. 

Forest type. A forest or a part of a forest possessing distinctive characteristics 
of composition or habit of growth. 

Forest utilization. The most profitable use of forest products, including lum- 
bering, the various wood-using industries such as the wood pulp, wood tannin, 
cooperage, veneer, excelsior, and similar industries and the uses to which 
our woods are put. 

Form class. All trees in a stand so similar in form that the same form factor 
is applicable in determining their actual volume. 


Form factor. The ratio, expressed decimally, between the volume of a tree, 
or portion of a tree, and of a cylinder of the same height and diameter. The 
volume of this cylinder multiplied by the form factor gives the actual volume 
of the tree or portion of the tree. The three kinds of form factors are dis- 
tinguished, according to the portion of the tree to which they refer. A tree 
form factor is used for determining the actual volume of the whole tree; a 
stem form factor for determining the volume of the stem; and a timber 
form factor for determining the merchantable contents of stem, crown, or 

A form factor is called absolute when the diameter of the tree is measured 
at any convenient height, the form factor referring only to that portion of 
the tree above the point at which the diameter is measured; normal, when 
the diameter is measured at a height in constant ratio to the total height 
of the tree; and artificial, when the breasthigh diameter is measured. 

Full scale. Measurement of logs, in which no reduction is made for defects. 

Future yield. The amount of wood which given trees upon a given area will 
contain after a given period. 

Future yield table. A tabular statement of future yield. 

Germination. The process by which a seed or spore gives rise to a new and 
independent plant. 

Girdling. The act of cutting through the inner bark and sap wood to cut off 
the circulation of the sap. Practised in the Southern Appalachians as a 
means of quickly clearing agricultural land. 

Ground cover. All small plants growing in a forest, except young trees; such 
as ferns, mosses, grasses and weeds. 

Group method. A method of conservative lumbering in which groups of young 
trees which have sprung up in openings caused by logging, insect damage, 
windfall, snowbreak or other agency, are taken as starting points for the 
future forest; or if these are insufficient, small openings are purposely made. 
Reproduction by self-sown seed from the mature stand at the edges of these 
groups is secured by careful cuttings, which extend the groups until they join. 

Group mixture. A mixed forest in which trees of the same species occur in 
groups not large enough to be considered pure stands. 

Group seed method. A method of conservative lumbering in which the forest 
is reproduced after a single cutting, by leaving in groups seed trees of the 
kind desired. 

Harden off, to. To prepare seedlings in the seedbed for transplanting by grad- 
ually exposing them to wind and sunlight. 

Hardwood, n. A broadleafed, or dicotyledonous, tree. 

Haul, n. In logging, the distance and route over which teams must go be- 
tween two given points, as between the yard or skidway and the landing. 

Head driver. An expert river driver who during the drive is stationed at a 
point where a jam is feared. Head drivers usually work in pairs. 


Head jailer. The chief of a crew of fallers. 

Heel in, to. To store young trees for planting by laying them against the side 
of a trench and covering the roots with earth. 

Height class. All trees in a stand whose heights are within prescribed limits. 

Height growth. The increase in height of a tree. 

Height measure. An instrument for measuring the height of a tree. 

Humus. Decomposed organic matter in and on the surface of the soil. 

Hypsomeler. An instrument for taking heights of trees. 

Ice a road, to. To sprinkle water on a logging road so that a coating of ice may 
form, thus facilitating the hauling of logs. 

Improvement thinning. Usually the first thinning made when a forest is put 
under management, to prepare it for the application of a regular sys- 

Increment. The volume or value of wood produced during a given period by 
the growth of a tree or of a stand. Three kinds of increment are distin- 
guished: volume increment is the increase in volume of a tree or stand; 
quality increment is the increase in value per unit of volume; price in- 
crement is the increase resulting from an increase in the price of forest prod- 
ucts independent of quality increment. 

Index. The highest average actually found upon a given locality. The 
term index applies to stand, diameter growth, height growth, increment, 
and present and future yield is the equivalent of normal, when normal is 
used to describe the assumed standard based upon actual measurement. 

Index forest. That forest which in density, volume and increment reaches 
the highest average which has been found upon a given locality. Measure- 
ments of such a forest provide a standard for comparison with other forests 
of the same age and composition, grown under similar conditions. 

Intermediate. Having the crown shaped on the sides, but free to light at the 

Intermediate yield. All material from thinnings or from any cutting not in- 
tended to invite or assist reproduction. 

Intolerant. Incapable of enduring heavy shade. 

Irregular forest. Forest in which the trees differ considerably in age. 

Jack chain. An endless spiked chain, which moves logs from one point to 
another, usually from the mill pond into the sawmill. 

Jam, n. A stoppage or congestion of logs in a stream, due to an obstruction 
or to low water. 

Jam, to break a. To start in motion logs which have jammed. 

Key log. In river driving, a log which is so caught or wedged that a jam is 
formed and held. 

Landing, n. i. A place to which logs are hauled or skidded preparatory to 
transportation by water or rail. A rough and tumble landing is one in which 
no attempt is made to pile logs regularly. 


2. A platform, usually at the foot of a skid road, where logs are collected 

and loaded on cars. A lightning landing is one having such an incline that 

the logs may roll upon the car without assistance. 
Large-pole forest. A forest of large poles. 
Large-sapling forest. A forest of large saplings. 
Layer. A shoot which, while attached to the plant, takes root at one or more 

places and forms a new plant. 
Lift. To pry up seedlings in the seedbed, so that they may be pulled up by 

hand for transplanting. 
Line out, to. To transplant seedlings from the seedbed to rows in the forest 

Litter. That portion of the forest floor which is not in an advanced state of 

Loam. Friable, mellow, rich soil containing much humus. 
Locality. An area, considered with reference to forest-producing power; the 

factors of the locality are the altitude, soil, slope, aspect and other local 

conditions influencing forest growth. 
Locality class. All localities with similar forest-producing power. 
Log, to. To cut logs and deliver them at a place from which they can be trans- 
ported by water or rail, or, less frequently, at the mill. 
Log rule. i. A tabular statement of the amount of lumber which can be 

sawed from logs of given lengths and diameters. 

2. A graduated stick for measuring the diameter of logs. The number 

of board feet in logs of given diameters and lengths is shown upon the 

Logging sled. The heavy double sled used to haul logs from the skidway or 

yard to the landing. 
Lumber, v. To log, or to manufacture logs into lumber, or both. 
Lumberjack, n. One who works in a logging camp. 
Many-aged forest. A forest through all parts of which many different age 

classes of trees tend to distribute themselves. When all age classes are thus 

distributed, the forest is all aged. These two terms replace selection forest, 

many-aged being substituted for imperfect selection, and all aged for perfect 

or ideal selection. 
Market, n. A log 19 inches in diameter at the small end and 13 feet long. 
Marking hatchet. A hatchet for marking trees. A raised die is cut on the 

head for stamping the face of the blaze. 
Mature forest. Forest so old that growth in height is practically at an end, and 

diameter growth is decreasing. 
Mean annual increment. The total increment of a tree or stand divided by 

its age in years. 
Merchantable length. The total length of that portion of the stem which can 

be used under given conditions. 


Merchantable volume. The total volume of that portion of the tree which can 
be used under given conditions. 

Mild humus. Humus in a condition favorable to forest growth. 

Mixed forest. Forest composed of two or more species. 

Monoecious. Both staminate and pistillate flowers borne on the same plant 
(e.g., black walnut). 

Mound planting. A method of planting on wet ground, in which the seeds or 
young trees are planted on mounds, ridges or hills. 

Mulch. Any loose material that protects the soil from frost or evapora- 

Muskeg. A term commonly applied to sphagnum swamps by the Indians and 
woodsmen of the Northern States. 

National forest. A forest which is the property of the United States. 

National forest reserve. A tract of land set apart from the public domain by 
proclamation of the President under section 24 of the act of March 3, 1891, 
or created by special act of Congress, and administered under laws of the 
United States passed for that purpose, in order "to improve and protect 
the forest within the reservation, or for the purpose of securing favorable 
conditions of waterflows and to furnish a continuous supply of timber for 
the use and necessities of citizens of the United States." 

National park. A tract of Government land withdrawn by special act of 
Congress from settlement, occupancy or sale, under the laws of the United 
States, for the benefit and enjoyment of the people. 

Nurse. A tree which fosters the growth of another in youth. 

Nursery. An establishment for the raising of plants. 

Nursery grown. Grown in a forest nursery. 

Open grown. Said of trees when not grown sufficiently close to have their crowns 

Osiers. A class of willows used for baskets. 

Overmature forest. Forest in which, as the result of age, growth has almost 
entirely ceased, and decay and deterioration have begun. 

Overtopped. Having the crown shaded from above, although a side or sides 
may be free to light. 

Parasite. A plant or animal that lives upon and obtains its food from other 
living plants or animals. 

Patch method. The clean cutting of small patches to invite reproduction by 
self-sown seed from the surrounding forest. 

Patch sowing. Sowing forest seed in spots. 

Pcavey, n. A stout lever 5 to 7 feet long, fitted at the larger end with a metal 
socket and pike, and a curved steel hook which works on a bolt; used in 
handling logs, especially in driving. A peavey differs from a cant hook in 
having a pike instead of a toe ring and lip at the end. 

Pecky, a. A term applied to an unsoundness most common in bald cypress. 


Periodic annual increment. The total increment for the period, divided by the 
number of years in the period. 

Periodic increment. The volume of wood produced by the growth of a tree or 
stand in a specified number of years. 

Pike pole. A piked pole, 12 to 20 feet long, used in river driving. 

Pitch pocket. A cavity in wood filled with resin. 

Pitch streak. A seam or shake filled with resin. 

Planting plan. A detailed scheme for forest planting on a given area. 

Planting site. An area which is to be artificially stocked with forest growth. 

Pole. A tree from 4 to 12 inches in diameter, breasthigh. 

A small pole is a tree from 4 to 8 inches in diameter, breasthigh. 
A large pole is a tree from 8 to 12 inches in diameter, breasthigh. 

Pollard, v. To invite the production of shoots at the top of a tree by cutting 
back the crown. 

Preliminary examination. A reconnoissance of a forest to determine whether 
the preparation of a working plan for its management is advisable, or a 
reconnoissance to determine the advisability of forest planting. 

Present yield. The amount of wood at present contained in given trees upon a 
given area. 

Present yield table. A tabular statement of the amount of wood at present 
contained in given trees upon a given area. 

Private forest. A forest which is the property of an individual, corporation, 
company or private institution. 

Protection forest. A forest whose chief value is to regulate stream flow, prevent 
erosion, hold shifting sand or exert any other indirect beneficial effect. 

Pruning. The removal of branches from standing trees by natural or arti- 
ficial means. The clearing of the stem through the death and fall of branches 
for want of light is known as natural pruning. When living branches are 
removed by cutting them close to the stem the operation is known as green 
pruning; when it is confined to dead branches, as dry pruning. 

Puddle, v. To dip the roots of young trees in thin mud. 

Puddle, n. A mixture of soil or mold and water, forming thin mud, in which 
the roots of young trees are dipped to retard drying out during transplant- 

Pure forest. Forest composed of trees of one species. In practice, a forest in 
which 80 per cent of the trees are of one species. 

Quincunx planting. A method of planting in which young trees are set in the 
center, and at each corner of successive squares. 

Regular forest. Forest in which the trees are approximately of the same age. 

Reproduction. 1. The process by which a forest is renewed. Natural repro- 
duction is the renewal of a forest by self-sown seeds, or by sprouts. Artificial 
reproduction is the renewal of a forest by sowing or planting. 
2. Seedlings or saplings from sprouts or from self-sown seed. 


Reproduction cutting. Any cutting intended to invite or assist reproduction. 

Reproduction period. The space of time required for the renewal of a stand. 

Reserve seed method. That method of conservative lumbering in which, in a 
stand which is being reproduced by self-sown seed, a number of trees are 
left uncut for a period, usually a second rotation, after the stand itself is 

Reserve sprout forest. Two-storied forest, in which sprouts form the lower, and 
seedlings, or selected, healthy sprouts, the upper story. 

Reserve sprout method. That method of conservative lumbering in which an 
overwood composed of seedling trees, or selected sprouts, is maintained above 
a stand of sprouts. 

Restock. To renew a forest, either by natural or artificial means. 

Rise, n. The difference in diameter, or taper, between two points in a log. 

River boss. The foreman in charge of a log drive. 

Rock. In forest description rock refers to those characteristics of the under- 
lying formation which affect the forest; as, for example, its outcrop, compo- 
sition, and the rapidity of its disintegration. 

Rock in, to. To plant young trees in openings in the ground made by prying 
or rocking a spade back and forth. 

Root. A part of the plant which absorbs nourishment for the plant, or serves 
as a support. 

Root collar. That place at the base of a tree where the swelling which is the 
direct result of the ramifications of the roots begins. 

Rotation. The period represented by the age of a forest, or a part of a forest, 
at the time when it is cut, or intended to be cut. The following classes of 
rotation are distinguished: financial rotation, under which a forest yields 
the highest net interest on its capital value, calculating at compound inter- 
est; income rotation, under which a forest yields the highest net return 
calculating without interest; silvical rotation, the rotation most favorable 
to the natural reproduction of the forest under a given method; technical 
rotation, under which a forest yields the material most suitable for a certain 
purpose; volume rotation, under which a forest yields the greatest quantity 
of material. 

Row planting. A method of planting in which the young trees are placed in 
rows, the distance between the rows being greater than the distance between 
the young trees in the rows. In planting seeds or seedlings in the forest 
nursery this method is known as drill planting. 

Sample tree. A tree which in diameter, height and volume is representative 
of a tree class. A class sample tree is a tree which in diameter, height and 
volume represents the average of several tree classes. 

Sapling. A tree 3 feet or over in height, and less than 4 inches in diameter, 
breasthigh. A small sapling is a sapling from 3 to 10 feet in height. A large 
sapling is a sapling 10 feet or over in height. 


Scattered seed method. That method of conservative lumbering in which re- 
production is provided for by leaving, after a single cutting, scattered seed 
trees of the kind desired. 

Scr dicker. An instrument used for marking trees. It usually consists of a 
hook-like gouge fastened to a flat, elliptical iron hoop, with wooden handle 
plates on the opposite side from the gouge. 

Scaler, n. One who determines the volume in logs. 

Second growth. Forest growth which comes up naturally after cutting, fire or 
other disturbing cause. 

Seed. The ripened ovule. 

Seedbed. A specially prepared area, usually in the forest nursery, for the 
raising of seedlings. 

Seed forest. A forest composed wholly or mainly of trees from seed. 

Seedling. 1. A tree grown from seed. 

2. A tree grown from seed which has not reached a height of 3 feet. 

Seed spot. A small area, usually in a burn or in an opening in the forest, which 
is sown with tree seed. 

Seed system. One of the three great systems of forest management. Under 
it, reproduction is obtained from seed. 

Seed tree. Any tree which bears seed; specifically, a tree which provides the 
seed for natural reproduction. 

Seed year. A year in which a given species of tree bears seed; specifically, a 
year in which a given species bears seed abundantly. 

Selection forest. See many-aged forest. 

Self-sown seed. Strictly, disseminated without the intervention of human or 
animal agency; in common practice, seed sown by any agency other than 

Semi-mature forest. Forest in which rapid growth in height has culminated, but 
diameter growth has not begun to fall off. 

Setting, n. The temporary station of a portable sawmill, a yarding engine or 
other machine used in logging. 

Severance cutting. The cutting of all trees upon a narrow strip before natural 
pruning has far advanced, in order that the trees bordering this strip may, 
as the result of partial exposure, become wind-firm through the development 
of strong roots. Thus severance cuttings are made to strengthen the trees 
on the edge of a stand which will later be entirely exposed through the re- 
moval of the stand which now protects it. 

Shade frame. A frame for the partial shading of a seedbed. It consists of a 
cover of laths, brush or cloth, supported on posts, and arranged so that light 
can be admitted as desired. 

Shake, 11. A crack in timber, due to frost or wind. 

Shelterbelt. Natural or artificial forest maintained as a protection from wind 
or snow. A narrow shelterbelt in which true forest conditions do not exist 


is a windbreak when maintained as a protection against wind, and a snow- 
break when maintained as a protection against snow. 

Shrub. A woody plant with no main stem or trunk. 

Silvical. Pertaining to silvics. 

Silvics. 1. The science which treats of the life of trees in the forest. 
2. The habit of behavior of a tree in the forest. 

Silviculture. The art of producing and tending a forest; the application of 
the knowledge of silvics in the treatment of a forest. 

Single-tree method. That method of conservative lumbering in which repro- 
duction from self-sown seed under the shelter of the old stand is invited by 
the cutting of single trees. This cutting may be made throughout the forest, 
as in some woodlots, or in definite portions of the forest in turn. 

Single-tree mixture. A mixture in which trees of different species occur singly. 

Skid, n. A log or pole, commonly used in pairs, upon which logs are handled 
or piled. 

Skid v. 1. To draw logs from the stump to the skid way, landing, or mill. 
2. As applied to a road, to reenforce by placing logs or poles across it. 

Skidder, n. 1. One who skids logs. 

2. A steam engine, usually operating from a railroad track, which skids 
logs by means of a cable. 

3. The foreman of a crew which constructs skid roads. 

4. See Bummer. 

Skid road. 1. A road or trail leading from the stump to the skid way or landing. 
2. A road over which logs are dragged, having heavy transverse skids par- 
tially sunk in the ground, usually at intervals of about 5 feet. 
Skidway, n. Two skids laid parallel at right angles to a road, usually raised 
above the ground at the end nearest the road. Logs are usually piled upon 
a skidway as they are brought from the stump for loading upon sleds, wagons 
or cars. 
Slash, n. 1. The debris left after logging, wind or fire. 

2. Forest land which has been logged off and upon which the limbs and 
tops remain, or which is deep in debris as the result of fire or wind. 
Slide, n. A trough built of logs or timber, used to transport logs down a slope. 
Slope. The gradient of the land surface. In forest description the following 
terms are used to define the slope, each of which has its equivalent in per- 
centages of the horizontal distance and in degrees: 

Per Cent Degrees 

Level o- 5 0.0-3.0 

Gentle 5-15 3.0-8.5 

Moderate 15- 30 8.5-16.5 

Steep 30- 50 16 5-26 . 5 

Very steep 50-100 26 . 5-45 . o 

Precipitous over 100 over 45 . o 


Small-pole forest. A forest of small poles. 

Small-sapling forest. A forest of small saplings. 

Snoivbreak. 1. The breaking of trees by snow. 

2. An area on which trees have been broken by snow. 

Snub, v. To check, usually by means of a snub line, the speed of logging sleds 
or logs on steep slopes, or of a log raft. 

Soil. In forest description the origin, composition, depth and moisture of 
the forest soil are considered under soil., Its depth is defined by the follow- 
ing terms, each of which has its equivalent in inches. 

Very shallow less than 6 inches. 

Shallow 6 to 1 2 inches. 

Moderate 12 to 24 inches. 

Deep 24 to 36 inches. 

Very deep over 36 inches. 

The moisture of the soil is defined by the following terms: Wet — when 
water drips from a piece held in the hand without pressing; moist — when 
water drips from a piece pressed in the hand; fresh — when no water 
drips from a piece pressed in the hand, although it is unmistakably present; 
dry — when there is little or no trace of water; very dry — when the soil 
is parched. Such soils are usually caked and very hard, sand being an 

Sour humus. Humus harmful to forest growth owing to the presence of humic 
or similar acids produced by decomposition under excess of moisture and 
lack of air. 

Species. A division of a genus, the plants of which seem to be derived from an 
immediate common ancestor. 

Splash dam. A dam built to store a head of water for driving logs. 

Spring board. A short board, shod at one end with an iron calk, which is 
inserted in a notch cut in a tree, on which the faller stands while felling the 

Sprinkler, n. A large wooden tank from which water is sprinkled over logging 
roads during freezing weather in order to ice the surface. 

Sprout. A tree which has grown from a stump or root. 

A shoot is a sprout which has not reached a height of 3 feet. 

Sprout forest. A forest consisting wholly or mainly of sprouts. 

Sprout method. That method of conservative lumbering in which repro- 
duction is obtained by sprouts. 

Sprout system. One of the three great systems of forest management, in which 
reproduction is secured by sprouts. 

Spud, n. A tool for removing bark. 

Square planting. A method of planting in which the distance between the 
rows is equal to the distance between the young trees in the rows. 


Stand. All growing trees in a forest or in part of a forest. 

Standard. A tree from 1 to 2 feet in diameter, breasthigh. 

Standard forest. A forest of standards. 

Stand class. All stands of similar density, height and volume for a given age 
or diameter and a given locality class. The index stand may constitute the 
first stand class. 

Stand method. That method of conservative lumbering in which reproduction 
is secured from self-sown seed by means of successive cuttings made through- 
out the mature stand, thus leading to the production of a new stand approxi- 
mately even aged. These successive cuttings encourage seed production, 
create conditions favorable to the growth of seedlings, and gradually re- 
move the remaining trees of the mature stand as the young growth develops. 
The series of cuttings, which vary in number and duration according to the 
degree of difficulty with which reproduction is effected, is divided into the 
following four kinds: preparatory cuttings fit the stand for its repro- 
duction by the removal of dead, dying or defective trees, and prepare the 
ground for the germination of seeds. A stand in which one or more pre- 
paratory cuttings have been made is in the preparatory stage. Seed Cuttings 
encourage seed production by the further opening of the stand, and admit 
light in quantity favorable for the development of young growth. A stand 
in which one or more seed cuttings have been made is in the seeding stage. 
Removal Cuttings gradually remove the mature stand which would other- 
wise retard the development of the young trees. A stand in which one or 
more removal cuttings have been made is in the removal stage. The final 
cutting is the last of the removal cuttings, in which all of the old stand still 
remaining is cut. 

Stand table. A tabular statement of the number of trees of each species and 
diameter class upon a given area. 

State forest. A forest which is the property of a state. 

Stem. The trunk of a tree. The stem may extend to the top of the tree, as 
in some conifers, or it may be lost in the ramification of the crown, as in 
most broadleaf trees. In tree description the stem is described as long or 
short, straight or crooked, cylindrical or tapering, smooth or knotty. 

Stem density. The extent to which the total number of trees in a given forest 
approaches the total number which the index forest of the same age and 
composition contains. It is ordinarily expressed as a decimal, 1 being taken 
as the numerical equivalent of the stem density of the index forest. 

Storage boom. A strong boom used to hold logs in storage at a sawmill. 

Stratification. A method of storing seeds with alternate layers of sand. 

Stratify. To preserve tree seeds by spreading them in layers alternating with 
layers of earth or sand. 

Strip method. That method of conservative lumbering in which reproduction 
is secured on clean-cut strips by self-sown seed from the adjoining forest. 


Strip stand method. A modification of the stand method in which reproduction 
cuttings are not made simultaneously throughout the stand, but the stand 
is treated in narrow strips at such intervals that reproduction cuttings are 
generally going on in three strips at one time, one strip being in the removal 
stage, one in the seeding stage and one in the preparatory stage. 

Stub. That portion of the stem left standing when a tree is accidentally 
broken off. 

Stump. That portion of the tree below the cut made in felling a tree. 

Stum page, n. The value of timber as it stands uncut in the woods; or, in a 
general sense, the standing timber itself. 

Stump age. The age of a tree as determined by the number of annual rings 
upon the face of the stump, without allowance for the period required for 
the growth of the tree to the height of the stump. 

Stump height. The distance from the ground to the top of the stump, or from 
the root collar when the ground level has been disturbed. On a slope the 
average distance is taken as the stump height. 

Sucker. A shoot from an underground root or stem. 

Sun scald. An injury to the cambium caused by sudden exposure of a tree to 
strong sunlight. 

Suppressed. Having growth more or less seriously retarded by shade. 

Swamp, v. To clear the ground of underbrush, fallen trees and other ob- 
structions preparatory to constructing a logging road or opening out a gutter 

Swamper, n. One who swamps. 

Swell butted. As applied to a tree, greatly enlarged at the base. 

Tally board. A thin, smooth board used by a scaler to record the number or 
volume of logs. 

Tally man. One who records or tallies the measurements of logs as they are 
called by the scaler. 

Tangential sawing. The common way of cutting logs by which boards on each 
side of the center board are sawed by a cut that is tangent to the annual 
rings. This method serves to bring out the grain of wood most conspicuously. 

Tap-root. A central root running deep into the soil. 

Tensile strength. The force which resists breaking or drawing asunder. 

Thinning. The removal of a portion of the trees with the object of improving 
the stand without inviting natural reproduction. The following kinds of 
thinnings are distinguished: cleaning, improvement thinning, accretion 

Tolerance. The capacity of a tree to endure shade. 

Tolerant. Capable of enduring more or less heavy shade. 

Total increment. The total volume of wood produced by the growth of a tree 
or stand up to the time it is cut. 


Tote, n. To haul supplies to a logging camp. 

Town forest. A forest which is the property of a city, town or village. 

Transpiration. The process by which water is taken up by the roots of plants 
and given off to the air through the leaves and branches. 

Transplant, i. n. A seedling which has been transplanted once or several 

2. v. To take up a young tree and set it out again in another place. 

Trap tree. A tree deadened or felled at a time when destructive bark beetles 
will be attracted to it and enter the bark. After they have entered, the 
bark is peeled and exposed to the sun, burned or buried, as the case may 
require, to destroy the insect. 

Tree. A perennial woody plant with a single stem which from natural tenden- 
cies generally divides into two or more branches at some distance from the 

Tree analysis. A series of measurements and observations upon a felled tree 
to determine its growth and life history. Tree analyses vary with their 
purpose, and may include all or a part of the following, or may require ad- 
ditions to meet special needs. The usual measurements comprise length of 
each section, the diameter inside and outside the bark, the total age, the age 
and width of the sapwood, the diameter growth at given periods on the upper 
end of each section, the diameter breasthigh, the total height and the 
clear, used and merchantable lengths. The observations determine the 
class, form and condition of the tree. Although a tree analysis may in- 
clude many combinations of the above measurements, two important classes 
are distinguished: a stump analysis includes measurements of the diameter 
growth at given periods upon the stump only, no matter what other measure- 
ments it may comprise; a section analysis includes measurements of the 
diameter growth at given periods upon more than one section. When, in a 
stump or section analyses, the measurement of the diameter growth at given 
periods covers only a portion of the total diameter growth, the analysis is a 
partial stump analysis, or a partial section analysis. 

Tree class. All trees of approximately the same size. The following tree 
classes are distinguished: seedling, shoot, small sapling, large sapling, 
small pole, large pole, standard, veteran. 

Tree crown. That part of a tree that is branched, forming a head. 

Trench planting. A method of planting on dry ground, in which the seeds of 
young trees are set in pits or trenches. 

Triangular planting. A method of planting in which the unit of arrangement 
is an equilateral triangle, at each apex of which young trees are placed. 

Turkey, n. A bag containing a lumberjack's outfit. To "histe the turkey" is 
to take one's personal belongings and leave camp. 

Two-storied forest. Comprising on the same area two classes, which vary con- 
siderably in height, composed of trees of different species. The term is not 


applicable to forest under reproduction, in which the appearance of two 
stories is the temporary result of an incomplete process, but to those forests 
of which the two stories of growth are a natural and permanent feature. In 
a two-storied forest the taller trees form the overwood, or upper story. The 
shorter trees form the underwood, or lower story. 

Underbrush. All large, woody plants, such as witch-hobble, laurel, striped 
maple and devil's club, which grow in a forest, but have no main stem or 

Undergrowth. The ground cover, underbrush, and young trees below the 
large sapling stage. 

Undercut, n. The notch cut in a tree to determine the direction in which the 
tree is to fall, and to prevent splitting. 

Under plant, v. To plant trees under an existing stand. 

Used length. The sum of the lengths of logs cut from a tree. 

Used volume. The sum of the volumes of logs cut from a tree. 

Valuation area. A forest area of known size upon which measurements or 
other detailed studies are made for the determination of the stand or yield. 

Valuation survey. The measurement or other detailed study of the stand upon 
a valuation or experiment area. Two kinds of valuation survey are dis- 
tinguished: 1. The strip survey comprises the measurement of a stand, or 
a given portion of it, upon strips usually 1 chain wide. 2. The plot survey 
comprises the measurement of the stand, or a given portion of it, upon 
isolated plots not in the form of strips. 

Veteran. A tree over 2 feet in diameter breasthigh. 

Veteran forest. A forest of veterans. 

Volume. Amount or mass of a tree or stand. 

Volume table. A tabular statement of the volume of trees in board feet or 
other units upon the basis of their diameter breasthigh, their diameter 
breasthigh and height, their age, or their age and height. 

Volunteer growth. Young trees which have sprung up in the open, as white 
pine in old fields, or cherry and aspen in burns. 

Wanigan, n. A houseboat used as sleeping quarters or as kitchen and dining 
room by river drivers. 

Wedge a tree, to. To topple over with wedges a tree that is being felled. 

Weed. A plant out of place; not of any appreciable economic value. 

Weed tree. A tree of a species which has little or no value. 

White water man. A log driver who is expert in breaking jams on rapids or 

Windbreak. 1. The breaking of trees by wind. 

2. A belt of trees, which serves as a protection from wind. 

Windfall. 1. A tree thrown by wind. 

2. An area on which the trees have been thrown by wind. 

Wind-firm. Able to withstand heavy wind. 


Work, v. To harvest the final yield under a working plan. 

Working, n. The harvesting of the final yield under a working plan. Working 
is annual when cuttings are made each year; periodic when they are made 
after uniform periods of two or more years; and intermittent when they are 
made at irregular intervals. Sustained annual, periodic or intermittent 
workings are those under which the amount of wood cut is so regulated 
that the productive capacity of the forest does not decrease but produces a 
substained yield, which likewise may be annual, periodic, or intermittent. 

Working area. The total forest area managed under a working plan. 

Working plan. A detailed and comprehensive scheme for the best permanent 
use of a forest. 

Working plan renewal. The preparation of a new working plan for a given 
tract, when the present working plan has been carried out, or changed con- 
ditions require its revision. 

Yarding donkey. A donkey engine mounted upon a heavy sled, used in yard- 
ing logs by drum and cable. 

Yield. The amount of wood at present upon, or which after a given period will 
be upon, a given area. 


^Esthetic forestry, 253. 
Air, 47. 

Annual cut, 171. 
Annual rings, 217. 
Appendix, 351. 
Arboriculture, 4, 5. 
Artificial regeneration, 97. 

Bark, 215. 

Brush burning, 75, 


Central hardwoods, 304. 
Champlain rule, 358. 
Chemical properties, 226. 
Chlorophyll, 22, 47, 49. 
Cleanings, 84, 85. 
Clear cutting systems, 73. 
Cleavability, 225. 
Climate, 43, 49. 
Coconino National Forest, 7. 
Communal forestry, 255. 
Cooperage, 202. 
Coppice system, 79. 
Cruising, 159. 

Damage cuttings, 84, 92. 
Damages, assessment of, 266. 

presentation of, 270. 
Damping off, 112. 
Deerlodge National Forest, 74. 
Deschutes National Forest, 10. 
Direct seeding, 105. 

results and cost of, 108. 
Distillation, wood, 204. 
Doyle rule, 151, 154, 357. 
Durability, 227. 
Duration of life, 33. 

Erosion, 44, 46, 61. 
Estimating, 159. 
Excelsior, 208. 
Exposure, 54. 

Felling and bucking, 176. 

Fernow, 242. 

Fires, forest, 64, 126. 

causes, 131. 

effects, 135. 

kinds, 128. 

methods of control, 141. 

methods of prevention, 139. 
Forest, characteristics of a, 41. 

description, 58, 59. 

economics, 242. 

finance, 258. 

floor, 51, 57. 

life history of a, 56. 

mensuration, 148. 

protection, 126, 287, 301, 309, 320, 
328, 336, 347. 

regions, 274. 

values, methods of determining, 262. 
Forestry, definition of, r. 

in the United States, 12. 

versus lumbering, 2, 187. 
Forests as investments, 260. 
Form, 26. 

France, 9, 42, 43, 66, 76, 91, 92, 145. 
Fringe forest, 315. 
Fungi, 46, 52, 55, 80, 112, 137, 144, 

Future supply, methods of providing, 

Future use of land, 244. 




Germany, 6, 7, 8, 9, 15, 27, 41, 66, 69, 

76, 93, 97, 99, 104, 195. 
Glossary, 368. 
Grain, 217. 
Grazing, 145. 
Growth, 28. 
studies, 163. 

Hardness, 224. 

Hardwood versus coniferous wood, 

Heartwood, 21, 216. 
Heat, 48. 
Herty, 202. 
History of forestry in United States, 

Hough, 12. 
Humus, 22, 41, 42, 44, 47, 50, 51, 52, 


Improvement cuttings, 84. 

economic considerations, 95. 

kinds of, 84. 

reasons for, 84. 
Insects, forest, 64, 80, 92, 109, 137, 

Leaves, 22. 

Liberation cuttings, 84, 86. 

Light, 48. 

Local extension, 25. 

Locality, influence of forest on, 42. 

influence on forest of, 47. 
Logging methods, 174. 

felling and bucking, 176. 

log transport, 177. 

skidding, 177. 
Log rules, 151. 

methods of construction, 151. 

relative values and discussion, 153. 
Log storage, 180. 

transport, 177. 
Lumber cut, use of, 194. 

Lumbering, 169. 
annual cut, 171. 
history, 169. 

Management, factors governing spe- 
cies for, 82. 
Maple syrup and sugar, 209. 
Mechanical properties, 223. 
Minor forest industries, 197. 
Moisture, 26, 49, 50. 
Montezuma National Forest, 19. 

National Forests, 1, 2, 61. 
Natural versus artificial reproduc- 
tion, 66. 
Naval stores, 200. 
Northern forest, 281. 
Northern Rocky Mountain forest, 323. 
Nursery practice, 109. 

Occurrence, 24. 

Open tank process, 236. 

Original and present forest areas, 351. 

Ownership of forest land, 245. 

Pacific coast forest, 339. 
Parts and function of tree, 19. 
Pinchot, 14, 15, 31. 
Planing mill, 182. 
Plantations, 70. 
Planting, 81, 99, 114, 117. 

choice of stock for, 115. 

spacing and costs, 120. 

yields, 121. 
Prairie forest, 315. 
Precipitation, 43. 
Present situation in forestry, 14. 
Preservation, wood, 231. 

brush treatment, 240. 

history of, 231. 

open tank process, 236. 

pressure or cylinder process, 233. 

principal methods, 233. 

results of, 241. 



Private forestry, 254. 

Protection, 126, 287, 301, 309, 320, 

328, 336, 347- 
Pruning, 42, 57, 93. 
Pulp, 197. 
Pure versus mixed forests, 55. 

Quality of wood, 34. 

Rate of growth, 363, 364, 365, 366, 

Regional studies, 274. 
Reproduction, 35, 54, 62, 81. 

advantages of artificial, 67. 

advantages of natural, 66. 

seed, 35, 62. 

sprouts, $7, 64. 

suckers, 39, 65. 
Resistance, 39, 116. 
Resources of the United States, forest, 

Roosevelt, 14. 
Roots, 18, 46, 53. 
Roth, 226. 

Sand dunes, 145. 
Sapwood, 21, 216. 
Sawmill, 181. 

portable, 186. 
Schneider's formula, 165. 
Scribner rule, 151, 154, 356. 
Seasoning, 182, 219. 
Seed beds, 109. 

collection, 10 r. 

extraction, 103. 

storage, 101, 103. 
Selection system, 71, 72. 
Shelterbelts, 114, 117, 215, 320. 
Shelterwood method, 76. 
Shrinkage, 222. 
Sihlwald, n, 255. 
Silvics, 41. 
Silvicultural systems, 61, 70. 

combinations of, 81. 

Silvicultural treatment, 285, 299, 308, 

318, 327, 335, 344. 
Silviculture, 41, 61, 67. 

cost of and returns from, 67. 
Skidding, 177. 
Soil, 43, 40, 5o, 53- 
Soil and moisture requirements, 26. 
Soils, forest versus agricultural, 243. 
Southern pine, 294. 
Southern Rocky Mountain forest, 332. 
Specific gravity, list of, 221. 
Sprout system, 79. 
Stand method, 76. 
State forest work, 16, 253. 

regulation, 8. 

versus federal control, 249. 
Stem, 21. 
Strength, 223. 
Structure, wood, 214. 
Stumpage value, rise in, 173. 
Substitutes, wood, 196, 242. 
Switzerland, 11. 

Tally sheet, 359, 360. 
Tannins, 199. 
Taxation, 271. 
Technology, wood, 213. 
Thinnings, 67, 79, 84, 87. 

classes of, 91. 
Timber culture act, 97, 319. 
Timber line, 24. 
Tolerance, 31, 55, 62. 

examples of, 32. 
Tree characteristics, 23. 

classes, 57. 

definition of, 18. 
Treelessness of prairies, 318. 
Transplants, 109. 
Turpentine, 200. 
Types, 42, 54, 60. 

Underplanting, 119. 

Uses of principal species, 352. 



Utilization, 290, 301, 311, 321, 329, Windbreaks, 43, 117, 316, 319, 320. 

337, 348. 
methods of securing closer, 311. 

Veneers, 206. 
Volume tables, 156. 

construction of, 157. 

kinds of, 156. 

use of, 158. 

Weeks' law, 292. 
Weight of wood, 220. 
Willow culture, 124. 

Wood consumption, 194. 

distillation, 204. 
Woodlots, 145, 306, 308, 309, 313, 

Wood preservation, 231. 

production, 193. 

substitutes, 196, 242. 

technology, 213. 

utilization, 191. 
Working plans, 167. 

Yield tables, 166, 167. 

L I D F\ 




Moon, Frederick Franklin 

Elements of forestry 
1st ed. 


MOON, F.F. f° 


Elements of forestry. 


1st fid. iS4?l